In June last year the Federal Government and the Hunter New England Primary Health Network announced additional funding that would facilitate headspace Tamworth expanding to 4 outreach sites – Gunnedah, Moree, Narrabri and Armidale.
On Friday 16 March headspace will be visiting Gunnedah to talk to young people between 12 and 25 years old about what they feel is important for the headspace outreach site there. The youth consultation sounds formal, but won’t be. To be held in Wolsley Park between 4pm and 6pm, it is hoped to be an afternoon of fun activities, and provide the headspace and Centacare staff the opportunity to have catch up with the youth of Gunnedah.
“We are bringing Giant Jenga, music and pizza,” says Avril Oakley-Hollow, the Youth and Community Engagement Officer for headspace Tamworth. “And we’ll also have bracelet making, and a skate board deck for young people to write what they think headspace coming to Gunnedah will mean to them.”
Avril then went on to say that headspace also hopes that the event will attract young people to join the New England North West Youth Reference Group (YRG). “The Youth Reference Group gives young people the opportunity to participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services within headspace.” Currently, the YRG is composed of Tamworth based youths, but with the expanded services representatives, aged 15-25 years, from all 5 towns will be required.
The headspace model is based on an easy-to-use, enhanced primary care service that works in an integrated way to meet the needs of young people who have developed a disruption of their physical, emotional and or social well-being. headspace Tamworth has had a positive impact on the wellbeing of young people in and around Tamworth since the centre opened its doors in February 2013. Providing early intervention services for young people aged 12-25 who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms that are impacting on the quality of their lives, the staff at the centre held 4,011 sessions with young people during the 2017 financial year, and just under 12,000 sessions in the three years ending 30 June 2017.
While plans for the outreach sites have not yet been finalised, the headspace services will be co-located within Centacare NENW sites in each location. “We are excited to be able to expand our youth services, and particularly headspace into other towns,” said Centacare NENW CEO Fergus Fitzsimons. “The communities in these towns have been calling out for more services for young people, and we are glad that these voices have been heard.”
“headspace is about young people and for young people, so we want to hear what young people have to say about these new outreach services,” said Azaan Vhora, headspace Tamworth Centre Manager.
The youth consultation will be held for young people, from 12 to 25 years of age, at Wolsely Park Gunnedah from 4-pm on Friday 16 March 2018. Alternative arrangements will be made for wet weather.