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Funds help create a better head space for youth

Secondary schools in Isaac will be armed with tools to help students’ combat feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness.

A nationally-recognised mental health foundation – headspace – will kick off a series of workshops to help bolster teaching staff across Isaac.

Based in Mackay and covering the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac regions, the Youth and Community Engagement Team from headspace Mackay will tour Middlemount, Clermont, Dysart, Glenden and Moranbah secondary schools to give a helping hand, thanks to the Isaac Regional Charity Fund.

The headspace-hosted sessions will focus on giving school staff the essential tools to help students cope with difficult situations.

The workshops are made possible thanks to nearly $30,000 from the Mayor’s Charity Ball.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker, who is the Isaac Regional Charity Fund chair, said mental health and youth suicide prevention is a whole of community issue.

“The impacts of youth suicide in Isaac and across the nation are instant, widespread and long-lasting,” Mayor Baker said.

“We aim to raise the level of community confidence in mental health literacy.

“According to headspace, one in four young Aussies will experience mental health issues and most of them will not seek help.

“With these programs, we aim to see an increase in young people seeking help through school guidance officers, counsellors and teaching staff.

“A reduction in stigma relating to the willingness to discuss mental health issues through the experience of the workshops.”

Wayne Horwood, who is headspace Mackay centre manager, said they will deliver youth and community engagement programs targeting a variety of topics aimed at improving mental health literacy, resilience and help seeking behaviours.

“All of these contributing as early intervention strategies in reducing the risk of suicide,” he said.

“Headspace immersion provides a ‘world café’ approach to exposing the content, benefit and experience of 6 of our most popular and effective programs in a 3 hour session.

“Directed toward secondary and tertiary teachers, school staff, welfare officers, sporting coaches and community leaders that interact directly with young people between 12 and 25 years old.”

Headspace Mackay is operated by Northern Australia Primary Health Limited, who also operate the Townsville headspace centre.

All headspace centres are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. Administration of funding is carried out by the headspace centre’s local Primary Health Network, in this case, Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN).

Nearly $69,000 has been raised for mental health initiatives in Isaac at the 2017 Mayor’s Charity Ball. A date will be announced in the near future for the gala 2018 event.

The Isaac Regional Charity Fund is a deductible gift recipient, which means it can receive tax-deductible gifts.

For further information contact: 
Carenda Jenkin (07) 4846 3550


21 December 2017