Updated: Jun 14
✦ The importance of Family, Friends, and Community in supporting young people
headspace Port Macquarie has been built on the participation of young people, their families and community members since it opened its doors in 2013.
“Having community support plays an essential role in our service delivery and development,” says Community Engagement Coordinator Jules Jamieson. “Over the years we have engaged all sorts of people as part of our headspace extended family. From state and federal MPs to prominent business people, cultural advisors, sports ambassadors to concerned parents and teachers – it is something we are proud of and are continuing to uphold."
As the saying goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, as such headspace Port Macquarie are on the hunt to bring new people into the centre to join their Family and Friends Reference Group (FFRG).
The FFRG are a group of local volunteers aged 25+ who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people. Some members of the FFRG may have experienced their own struggles and other members may have never experienced mental ill health, but all share a commitment to advocate for youth mental health in the local area.
Additionally, the group exists to ensure parents and families of young people are supported, and community members informed. Headspace National data shows that most young people are encouraged by family or friends to engage with headspace. Family and friends have an integral role in identifying mental health challenges in young people. They also enable positive help seeking behaviours.
Lauren McAllister, headspace Family and Friends Coordinator and volunteer, understands the importance of community when it comes to young people.
"It’s vital that we involve people who use headspace services, and those around them (home, school, uni, work) in decisions about headspace. It helps us remain relevant, trusted, and respected, and deliver appropriate services and ensure that we're targeting our priority groups."
The FFRG in conjunction with the Youth Reference Group (YRG), the youth version of the headspace participation model, are fundamental to the service.
If you would like to join the headspace FFRG or would like more information, head to: headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/port-macquarie/want-to-join-our-family-and-friends-group/
or contact Headspace on 02 65887300
You are also welcome to contact our Family and Friends Group Coordinator Lauren with any questions via email@example.com
headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation offering FREE counselling, psychology, and support services for 12-25-year-old young people in the Port-Macquarie-Hastings area.
Focussing on early intervention, the centre provides a safe, non-judgmental space where young people can be themselves.
The qualified youth friendly team consist of mental health coaches, mental health clinicians, social workers, psychologists plus a tele-psychiatrist and GP. Together, headspace help young people through challenges that may relate to school, work, study, drugs and alcohol, relationships with family or friends and more.
In addition to therapeutic services and workshops, the centre offers a broad social inclusion program with activities such as art, guitar, stand-up paddle boarding, bush walks and LGBTQIA+ groups.