22 November 2017

headspace Sunshine celebrates 10 years of supporting young people in Melbourne’s north-west

headspace Sunshine celebrates 10 years of supporting young people in Melbourne’s north-west

headspace Sunshine is this week celebrating 10 years of supporting young people in Melbourne’s north-west.

Since the centre opened its doors to young people and their families in 2007, more than 8500 young people have accessed support for mental health, physical health, drug and alcohol and vocational issues.

headspace Sunshine was one of the first 10 headspace centres to open in Australia, and is now one of 100 centres nationwide providing early intervention mental health services to young people and their families. It is operated by Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.

The executive director of Orygen, and founding board member of headspace, Professor Patrick McGorry, said headspace Sunshine exemplified the support for young people he envisioned when  he first championed the need for a national system of one-stop-shops aimed at integrating health and social care for young people aged 12-25.

“headspace Sunshine has supported thousands of young people from across Melbourne’s west over the past 10 years; young people who might have otherwise not sought help,” Professor McGorry said. “This centre has also welcomed three Prime Ministers and many other guests and visitors, playing a key role in the scaling up of accessible and effective youth mental health care in Australia and around the world.”

Adjunct Associate Professor Christopher Carter, the CEO of the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN), which oversees the delivery of youth mental health services across the region, said headspace Sunshine was an important service that connected young people in Melbourne’s west with the support and care they needed.

Each year since opening the team at Sunshine has provided services to an increasing number of young people said Liz Burgat, Director of Clinical Programs at Orygen. “More than a quarter of them are coming from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and almost 30% identify as LGTBQI,” she said.

“This shows us that headspace Sunshine is an inclusive service where vulnerable young people can seek help in a safe and confidential environment,” Ms Burgat said.

The chief executive officer of headspace, Jason Trethowan, said young people were visiting headspace centres around the country in increasing numbers. 

“More than 355,000 young Australians have sought help at headspace centres and our online and telephone service eheadspace since headspace began,” he said.

“This is testament to the accessible, youth friendly and low cost youth mental health service that is found here in Sunshine and at all other headspace services across the country.”  

headspace Sunshine is one of four headspace centres in Melbourne’s north-west operated by Orygen. Orygen also operates headspace centres in Craigieburn, Glenroy and Werribee.

Download infographic 'headspace Sunhine: Snapshot 2016 - 2017'