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Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Mail Newspaper Column - Mental Health Help - 22 September 2020

In March 2019 I announced that the Federal Government would invest $4.5 million over three years to support the health needs of young people, aged 12 to 25 years by establishing an integrated Youth Hub along with a Headspace service based in Lilydale.

The Youth Hub is now fully operational and providing services and support following its virtual launch last month. The separately funded Headspace will begin operating in the coming months.

COVID-19 has meant that some of the usual face-to-face services are being delivered differently, but this will change once restrictions are eased. Services will be delivered from other locations including Healesville, Belgrave, and Yarra Junction.

A consortium of community focused organisations successfully tendered for the job of running the Youth Hub. Included are the health service, Inspiro, Anchor (housing services), Cire (education), Eastern Community Legal Centre and Oonah (health and Aboriginal community services).

Each are well-known and offer significant expertise and experience. By working together, they will deliver the very best Youth Hub service.

The virus pandemic has unsurprisingly led to an increased demand for additional mental health related support services and advice throughout our community. After a lot of planning and preparation, the local Youth Hub is already making a positive difference to many young people’s lives in what are challenging times.

Services being provided include counselling addressing anxiety, depression, grief and relationships. As well, general health needs can be addressed, along with the provision of legal assistance, education and training services.

Importantly, these services are free for young people living, studying or working in the Yarra Ranges. For information go to, call 9757 8777 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

It’s widely recognised that COVID-19 is impacting all age groups, not just young people. Its impacts, especially on mental health will continue well into the future.

To help address the need for better mental health support and services, the Morrison Government last month announced a funding package of $31.9m that will deliver fifteen HeadtoHelp Hubs in Victoria. I am pleased to say that one of these will be based in the Upper Yarra Centre in Yarra Junction.

The hubs are needs-based and recovery-focused, supporting people in mental health distress.

Like the Youth Hub, HeadtoHelp hubs will also connect to other services in the region, including intensive mental health care or social supports, to ensure people get the help they need when they need it.

HeadtoHelp provides free support to people of any age. To make contact, call 1800 595 212.

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