Lake Macquarie calls for Headspace youth centre

MENTAL health services could soon be bolstered in Lake Macquarie with the establishment of a Headspace youth centre.

Headspace is a federally-funded youth mental health initiative that provides assistance to people aged between 12 and 25.

It explores all areas of mental health, including physical well-being, family and relationships in a comfortable, friendly environment.

Of the 74 centres Australia-wide, there are two in the Hunter - in Newcastle and Maitland.

Lake Macquarie City Councillors voted unanimously last week to have mayor Jodie Harrison write to the Lake Macquarie Mental Health Roundtable to lobby for a Headspace centre for the city.

The roundtable would then release an expression of interest when the next round of funding became available.

As his notice of motion, Cr Barney Langford said he believed it was an important issue in the region.

"We should do as much as we can to get a youth mental health service established in Lake Macquarie. It's important that we offer support to our young people," he said.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, 19 per cent of Lake Macquarie's population is aged 12 to 25. In the same age group, 41 per cent experience mental illness each year. However, only half will seek professional help.

Cr Robert Denton said he had spoken to Headspace Newcastle manager Andrew Steele and found the centre was already servicing youth from eastern and northern Lake Macquarie.

Cr Denton suggested a Lake Macquarie Headspace be established on the western side of the lake, where there were no on-the-ground services.

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