Youth mental health organisation headspace is continually looking for ways to engage young people in Port Macquarie.
Through the youth reference group headspace Port Macquarie ensures they stay relevant.
The aims of the group include advising headspace on local youth trends and needs and advocating for young people and mental health.
Wei Lu, Isabella Bennett, April Hiscott and Katrina Hatton are part of the seven member team looking out for young people in the Hastings in 2019.
"The youth reference group is great because we are helping to give a voice to young people," Isabella said.
"I really enjoyed my experience in the group last year and decided to come back and be part of all the social and community events in the Hastings.
"Some of the highlights include being at FOTSUN and all kinds of local events to help young people."
The youth reference group is a mandatory part of all headspace centres around the country. The goal is to engage young people to be the organisation's eyes and ears in the community so the programs headspace facilitate are relevant.
"I moved to Port Macquarie at the end of last year and I think the group is a great way to empower young people to be part of decisions that can affect them," April said.
"For me it has been a good opportunity to learn first hand about the community and give back to the place I now live.
"We go and support events in the community and as a group we also come up with new programs to help other young people."
People come to headspace for many reasons including concerns about bullying, relationships, mental health issues, problems at school or work, physical and sexual health concerns or issues with alcohol and drugs.
"I am a student at Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie and I live on campus so I think I am in a good place to know if young people are struggling and can help advise headspace if I think there should be different programs to help young people," Mr Lu said.
"I volunteered with headspace when I was living on the Central Coast and when I moved to Port Macquarie I was glad to see the community had a headspace centre here," Katrina said.
"I have a degree in psychology so I am really enjoying putting into practice all the things I studied to help others."
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