THIS week, I have written to the Lake Macquarie Mental Health Roundtable to express the council's support for the roundtable's efforts to establish a Lake Macquarie Headspace.
The vast majority of us know someone who has been touched by a mental health problem, or have experienced our own mental health issues at some stage of life.
Statistics show that, in Australia, 14 per cent of 12- to 17-year-olds and 27 per cent of 18- to 25-year olds experience mental health problems each year, but only one in four young people experiencing these problems actually receives professional help.
As a parent, I know that there are a lot of expectations on young people, expectations they feel they have to live up to, and these can weigh heavily on them.
That is why I believe our city would benefit greatly if it could provide a non-judgmental space that supports youth who might be finding life difficult.
Since 2006, more than 100,000 young Australians have been helped by Headspace, a youth-specific mental health foundation.
More than 60 Headspaces operate around our nation, providing support, information and advice to young people aged 12 to 25.
Establishing a Lake Macquarie Headspace will boost the council's efforts to close the significant gap in the provision of mental health services for youth in our city.