YOUNG people across Ballarat are more tapped in to their surroundings and how they are feeling thanks to greater awareness on mental health, according to headspace’s Nathan Broome.
Youth health service headspace Ballarat will celebrate three years of operation with a party on Tuesday.
Mental health worker Nathan Broome said general trends in issues tended to be cyclical – exams, results, new school years – but those visiting headspace’s Camp Street base had become savvier in understanding their worlds before they walked through headspace doors.
“There are definitely more young individuals identifying with what’s going on around them,” Mr Broome said. “Young people have better access to social media and the whole lined-in phenomenon...increasingly people have become less hesitant to come here for help.”
headspace Ballarat has evolved and diversified to meet the specific needs of this region’s youth. Mr Broome, a youth intake and assessment clinician, said services included a general practitioner specialising in youth health, a dietitian and a sexual health nurse. Some clients just came for study advice.
“We don’t just dictate what people need, each person has a massive say in their care and support model,” Mr Broome said. "Some people think we’re just a mental health service...but we have a real collaborative component working with people.”
Mr Broome said tailoring to community needs was largely due to the health and welfare consortium behind headspace Ballarat. Ballarat Community Health has taken the lead role on this since July 1 with the backing of consortium partners Ballarat Health Services, Centacare, MIND Australia, St John of God and Uniting Care Ballarat.
BCH client service manager Jane Measday said it was important the city’s youth had a dedicated space.
“For young people, it’s a time of lots of change, pressure and stress. They need a place to feel safe and supported,” Ms Measday said.
She said it was important to keep building and evolving for local needs.
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