Youth Mental Health Project

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The Indigo Shire Council Youth Strategy 2019 – 2023 has identified that access to mental health services for young people in our Shire is a major issue.

In addition to the Strategy, the 2016 Youth Consultation highlighted that mental health and the prevalence of bullying and cyber-bullying is a major concern.

There were a number of identified impediments to accessing mental health services across the Shire that need to be addressed:

  • awareness of available services and referral/engagement processes
  • addressing stigma, building resilience and support in the community
  • general lack of services in the Shire
  • lack of public transport
  • young people are at times reluctant to include parents/carers
  • additional stress due to COVID19 restrictions

What is Council doing to address these issues?

We've recently appointed a new Youth Mental Health Project Officer, Terry, who will be developing a number of programs aimed at increasing the current level of access to mental health services for young people. 

Terry has had more than 50 years working in Mental Health, initially as a Psychiatric Nurse before retraining in Social Work. Most recently, Terry has primarily spent time working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings and roles from clinical settings to senior management.

Terry has always held a passion for ensuring services are accessible, timely and sympathetic to an individual's needs.

Through this project, Terry aims to ensure that the young people of Indigo no longer miss out on the provision of mental health and wellbeing services.

How?

We're aiming to develop and deliver a number of innovative and informative programs that target access to youth mental health.  We'll be collaborating with young people, their families/carers and service providers to ensure we meet these aims.

Over the coming months, we'll be looking to consult directly with the community to assess the community appetite for a number of proposed initiatives. We'll be looking to hear from you on particular issues you feel should be focussed on, what the expressed needs of young people across the Shire are and if our proposed projects will address these.

Projects currently being explored for delivery as part of this initiative include:

  • Service Hubs:  Collocated service hubs with a range of mental health intervention services tailored to young people in various locations across the Shire.
  • Phone App: Tailored app to provide up to date service information, referral advice and support to young people.
  • SALT Program:  Working with local sports associations and clubs to deliver this initiative - https://sportandlifetraining.com.au/ 
  • School Based Programs: Youth Aware of Mental Health and / or Youth Mentoring in schools.

The above will be updated as project ideas progress.

We'll keep you updated via our Weekly Update and social media, but in the meantime, if you would like to be kept up to date as the project progresses, please sign up using the below form.