Extra mental health services for Benalla's youth
04 April 2016
Thursday 24 March 2016
Youth mental health services will be boosted in Benalla after Member for Euroa Steph
Ryan this week raised her concerns about the welfare of the town's young people.
Ms Ryan said Mental Health Minister Martin Foley had provided her with an undertaking that additional outreach services would be provided over school holidays to help young people who are vulnerable.
"I expect to be advised of what these services will be in coming days," Ms Ryan said.
"My immediate priority is making sure services are in place over the school holiday period, when young people can't access the support school provides."
Ms Ryan said following inquiries yesterday she had established that no youth-focussed mental health services were delivered in Benalla.
"A state-funded service is run in Wangaratta but, while it has responsibility for the Benalla
area, it does not deliver counselling or support from Benalla itself," Ms Ryan said.
"Benalla Health also provides some counselling services but they have a waiting list and they are not youth-specific.
"The Mental Health Minister has acknowledged that there are gaps which need to be filled for young people in Benalla.
"In the longer term we need to have a discussion about the wellbeing of young people and the support structures in place to assist them.
"I would like to see HeadSpace established in Benalla or funded to run outreach services in the community on a permanent basis.
"While we look for long term solutions, the immediate priority has to be the welfare of our young people in the next few weeks.
“I am pleased the government has recognised the importance of this and has agreed to work with me to ensure support is put in place," Ms Ryan said.