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Rise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people seeking headspace mental health services

Date posted: 17 March 2016

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are more likely to seek help for their mental and physical wellbeing in north Queensland than anywhere else in Australia, says a headspace centre manager.

'The centres aim to help young people aged between 12 and 25 with mental health, physical health or alcohol, drug, education or employment problems,' said Sandi Winner, centre manager at headspace Mackay. 'We want to help young people [who are] going through hard times, to get that life back on track.'

Since opening three years ago in Mackay, the demand from the centre's services has only increased, with 11.6% of clients identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Ms Winner noted that there had been a recent spike in the number of young people accessing services for cannabis and methamphetamine use. 'Definitely in the last two months we've noticed an increase in people actually coming in and saying 'I am using [drug name] and I'm starting to see that using these substances is affecting my life,' she said. 'Rather than it being a concern for us, we're really happy that the message is out there that there is somewhere [people] can go that is non-judgmental. We would rather know that people are seeking help than feeling there is no way to seek help.'

There has also been an increase in LGBTIQ people seeking services, who make up about ten percent of clients.

Source: ABC


Last updated: 17 March 2016
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