Work begins on new youth hub for Cardinia Shire

The Hon Greg Hunt MP

Minister for Health and Aged Care

Young people in the Cardinia Shire will soon have access to additional mental health support and services, with work underway on a new youth centre in Pakenham, Victoria.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the new three storey facility would replace the existing service, which was struggling to keep pace with demand.

“As the population of young people in Cardinia continues to increase, so too does the number of young people presenting with mental health concerns,” Minister Hunt said.

“Currently, the waiting list for generalist youth support is six to eight weeks, and young people are travelling more than 50 kilometres to access specialist services based in Dandenong.

“The Morrison Government has invested $1.5 million in partnership with Cardinia Shire Council and the Victorian Government to ensure young people – aged from 12 to 24 – in the area have access to information and advice about health and wellbeing, education and training support.”

The new centre, which will open early next year, will offer a range of services and programs to support young people to build resistance, re-engage in education, training and work opportunities.

The new centre will feature a rooftop recreation space, dedicated training and classrooms, counselling rooms, computers and a recording booth, as well as a shower and laundry facility.

Federal Member for La Trobe, Jason Wood took part in the sod-turning ceremony and welcomed the much needed centre given that South East Melbourne is one of the fastest growing regions in the country.

“The young people in our community need better access to mental health care. The current Centre deals with more than 1,300 young people every quarter and is now at capacity,” Assistant Minister Wood said.

“This is an important investment in the young people of Cardinia, and is a result of the community’s strong campaign and advocacy on behalf of their youth population.

“This centre will be a hub for services dedicated to the wellbeing of our young people, including headspace, Skillsplus, WAYSS drug, alcohol and housing assistance, youth, family and sexual assault counselling.”

The new Centre is expected to open early next year at 43 James Street, Pakenham, Victoria.

The Morrison Government is providing unprecedented funding and support for mental health, investing a record $2.3 billion in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, delivering significant reform of the mental health system and ensuring all Australians have access to high quality, person-centred care.

Australians looking for support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service any time via telephone at 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.

Anyone experiencing distress can also seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.

If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.

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