headspace Bankstown celebrates 1st Birthday

Mon May 16, 2016

Since launching in March 2015, headspace Bankstown has hit the ground running, offering a range of free support services for people aged between 12–25 years on more than 2,000 occasions.

These include mental health support and counselling, education, employment and other social and vocational services and also alcohol and drug support. A part-time GP, Dr Kiely Kim, is also working at the centre on Mondays and Thursday’s and focussing on general health, sexual health and mental health. .

To keep up with demand, staff numbers have been boosted from five to 21.

“We’ve quickly established ourselves as a professional, friendly, discreet and trusted go-to service for young people who need help,” headspace Bankstown Clinical and Operations Manager Tom Traae said.

“A key to the success is easy accessibility to services and a smooth referral system ensuring young people get the right help at the right time.

“Importantly, we have bilingual team members to cover Bankstown’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse demographic.”

Mr Traae added that young people from any area can simply walk into the headspace centre, or phone, be referred by their family or GP or connect on social media such as Facebook. The assistance journey is hassle-free.

RichmondPRA Chief Executive Officer Pamela Rutledge emphasised that headspace was all about supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

“The challenges of life can be overwhelming for some young people, particularly if mental health issues are involved,” Ms Rutledge said.

“headspace is all about early intervention – getting on top of mental health issues before they get out of hand.

“What’s been happening at headspace Bankstown is tremendously positive and something the local community can be proud of.”

Another highlight of headspace Bankstown is a Youth Reference Group made up of 10-15 young people that volunteer their time to assist with events, whilst also learning about the youth support sector.

One local Youth Reference Group Volunteer, Rayne Vo, says ''Working at headspace has been a positive and worthwhile experience. You learn so much about yourself and other people. It’s a team environment and everyone is cooperative. I look forward to being there every time.''

The headspace model is based on early intervention with the knowledge that adolescence and early adulthood is a critical time in a person's life. Research shows that 75% of mental health issues emerge before the age of 25. By ensuring help is accessed in those early stages, young people can get things back on track.

Young people wanting to make contact with headspace Bankstown on behalf of themselves or someone else can drop in, phone on 9393 9669 or email headspace.bankstown@richmondpra.org.au. For online information visit www.headspace.org.au.

headspace Bankstown is operated by RichmondPRA as the lead agency and supported by its partners The Black Dog Institute, South West Sydney Local Health District, Bankstown City Council, Break Thru People Solutions, South Western Sydney PHN, Aftercare, New Horizons, Carer Assist, FYRST, and Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre.

About headspace

The primary focus of headspace is the mental health and wellbeing of young Australians. headspace helps 12–25 year olds going through a tough time through a national network of over 80 headspace centres (soon to be 100) and online and telephone counselling service.

headspace was established and funded by the Commonwealth Government of Australia in 2006. Visit headspace.org.au to find a headspace centre or access help.

headspace Bankstown details:

41-45 Rickard Road, Bankstown, NSW 2200

Phone: 02 9393 9669

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

Media enquiries:

headspace Bankstown: Tom Traae - 0408 401 343