Opinion: We need Headspace in Lake Macquarie

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.

Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison

Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison

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