Saffin commits to Headspace facility for Clarence Valley
AFTER a number of tragic youth suicides in the Clarence Valley, Janelle Saffin and Shadow Minister for Families and Payments Jenny Macklin announced a commitment to fund a Headspace in Grafton if elected.
Ms Saffin said there was a clear gap in mental health services in the Clarence Valley.
"This $1.8 million in funding will address that gap by ensuring local young people can access the help they need," she said.
"Establishing a Headspace centre will give young people in Grafton and the Clarence Valley the same support as people in Coffs Harbour and Lismore."
Ms Saffin said there were a number of issues that led to youth suicide.
"These include high levels of unemployment, cuts to other youth services, and substance abuse.
"We cannot turn a blind eye to this reality and pretend it's not happening. Ignoring the mental health needs of young people is effectively casting them adrift.
"I have fought for the Headspace service for our region, and secured the Lismore Headspace. I have since argued that the Clarence Valley needs one as well, and if I am elected I will deliver it."
Ms Macklin said the Headspace would provide a safe place for young people to find the best services available.
"Labor is committing $1.8 million over four years to fully fund this vital service for young people in the local area," she said.
"Labor will focus on preventing the tragedy of suicide by identifying and addressing the causes of suicide and providing services and support which target the people most at risk."
Ms Macklin added that Labor would take recommendations from the inquiry into mental health and implement them to help all people suffering from mental health issues.
"One of the important things to remember is you can help people when they are young, then it's not going to get worse as they get older," she said.
"The Headspace announcement is first of all important for the individuals concerned but also means that hopefully we won't see the sort of mental health problems as people get older."