headspace Miranda Paints the Town Green for First Birthday

A media release written by South Eastern Sydney Medicare Local about our First Birthday. 

 

Waratah Park in Sutherland was awash with green T-shirts last week as headspace Miranda celebrated the first anniversary of opening its doors.

 headspace, the national youth mental health foundation, was established almost a decade ago to provide support for young people for a range of mental health issues including depression and anxiety, drug and alcohol use, sexuality and bullying. The opening of the Miranda centre a year ago was the program's first venture in the Sutherland/St George region, with headspace Hurstville following closely behind.

A lot has been achieved in a year, so to mark the occasion, staff, young people and supporters of the centre descended upon Sutherland PCYC for its first birthday party.

It was an opportunity for the centre's employees and volunteers to have some fun and reflect on a year of hard work, but also to extend their thanks to the wider community for their support, which by all accounts has been overwhelming.

"The spirit of the Sutherland Shire community has been wonderful", said the centre's Operations Manager Lesley Pullen. "They've really embraced us and offered to fundraise or donate to us so that we can provide more support to local young people."

It's a sentiment echoed by Community Engagement Officer Brodie Clarke, who attributes the wide support headspace has enjoyed across their first year of operation to a need in the community that was previously not being met.

Perhaps this response shouldn't be surprising. Every year one in four young adults will experience mental health problems and/or issues with alcohol and other drugs. Currently only a quarter of these people receive professional help. In the age bracket that headspace caters to, those aged 12 to 25, there is no health issue is that's more widespread.

The headspace Miranda team have gone to great lengths to make sure the centre is tailored to the young people they service. This is due in no small part to the young volunteers who make up their Youth Reference Group who, Pullen says, keeps them "on their toes" in ensuring the centre is youth-friendly and relevant.

Clinical Lead Heidi Erickson is particularly proud of what headspace Miranda has managed to achieve in a year. In that time the centre has seen over 550 young people through its doors across more than 2100 sessions.

Erickson is optimistic about the future too. "We're going to look at expanding the different services and the number of people we employ. It'll be a strong next twelve months."

headspace is a free service available to young people aged 12 to 25 with locations at Miranda and Hurstville. Referrals can be made by calling (02) 9575 1500 (Miranda) or (02) 8048 3350 (Hurstville) or by visiting www.headspace.org.au and selecting your local headspace centre.

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Media Contact: SESML Marketing & Communications Manager Abby Edwards on (02) 9330 9925 or aedwards@sesml.org.au

Media Spokesperson: Heidi Erickson - headspace Miranda Clinical Lead

 First Birtday YRG

headspace Miranda staff and Youth Reference Group