YOUTH mental health service Headspace celebrated its first birthday in Ballarat on Tuesday, marking 1037 referrals of young people in that time.
The federally-funded centre offers mental health support and general health services to youth, and will expand its education program in schools this year.
“We’ve had much more demand than we had planned for, even without a whole lot of promotion,” centre manager Ben Gillett said.
There are now nine core staff and four private practice GPs, who are available for consultations to anyone under 26 years with a Medicare card.
Mr Gillett said Headspace’s success as an option for young people under strain came from its ease of access.
“They (the youth) can walk in the front door or hop online. We get lots of people coming in one day, then bringing in a friend the next,” he said.
Mental health nurse Nathan Broome said Headspace provided another opportunity for young people to talk to someone if they felt overwhelmed.
Mr Gillett said it was not clear whether Headspace would receive funding after 2016.