Much needed mental health support for Pakenham

Headspace Pakenham staff.

By Mitchell Clarke

A new Headspace facility in Pakenham is set to become a “one-stop shop” for young people in need of support.

The new centre – which opened on 1 July at the corner of Main Street and McGregor Road – will assist the current Narre Warren site in providing much needed mental health, physical health, and alcohol and drug support to young people across the Cardinia Shire.

According to Headspace, more than 75 percent of mental health issues develop before a person turns 25, and an average of one in four young Australians, aged between 16 and 24, experience some form of mental illness in any given year.

The Pakenham site will be operated by EACH – an organisation which supports young people through existing Headspace sites at Narre Warren, Dandenong and Hastings.

EACH CEO Peter Ruzyla said the organisation was “delighted” to provide the vital service to the Pakenham community.

“Headspace Pakenham will improve accessibility to services and improve mental health outcomes for young people, especially at this time,” Mr Ruzyla said.

“We know that young people are most likely to experience psychological, social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic the most and so the opening of this new Headspace site is timely.”

This new location forms part of the Federal Government’s investment of more than $111 million to increase the number of sites from 115 to 145.

Federal Monash MP Russell Broadbent said the site would help ensure young people can find a “clear way ahead”.

“The centre will not only be of assistance to Pakenham residents but also a valuable service for our young people from Kooweerup and further afield in accessing support services and integrated health services local to their community,” Mr Broadbent said.

“I am pleased that this funding will help young people access the services they need, assist in improving mental health outcomes and help to ensure young people can find a clear way ahead.”

Federal La Trobe MP Jason Wood added he was committed to supporting Headspace by giving young people access to services early in life to help reduce the duration and impact of mental illness.

“This is great news for our local community,” Mr Wood said.

“The satellite site will complement the parent site which I proudly opened in Narre Warren previously. It will offer services to support young people’s mental health, physical health and access to alcohol and other drugs services.

“I’d like to thank all our amazing Headspace staff and congratulate the young people they support in their journey of life.”

Since 2006, Headspace has supported more than 500,000 young Australians with, or at risk of, mild to moderate mental illness to strengthen their wellbeing and manage their mental health.

“We know with the right support we can help young people get through tough times and get back on track,” Headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said.

In an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Headspace Pakenham will be delivering services to young people via phone and online rather than in-person, at this time.

Services will be made available remotely between Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 6pm.

For more information, visit headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/pakenham/ or call 1800 367 968 to make a referral.

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