With an eye-catching position on Little Street, headspace Coffs Harbour is a building you can’t miss, with its vibrant artwork on the exterior wall. Shelley Rowe fills us in on the various programs headspace is able to offer our local youth aged 12 – 25 … A timely reminder ahead of Youth Week that life can be challenging for young people, but that there is assistance available.
Hi Shelley. Describe your role with headspace Coffs Harbour …
I work for GenHealth Inc. and manage the headspace Coffs Harbour program. It’s an incredibly diverse role that I really enjoy. I have an amazing team of Clinicians (General Practitioners, Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Mental Health Nurses, Dietitian, Access Workers), a Community Engagement and Development Officer and Administration Staff. We also have some wonderful co-located partners. Together with the young person and their support network, we collaborate to provide wrap around services that assist the young person to work towards their social, emotional, physical and economic wellbeing goals.
Given Youth Week will be celebrated in April, what are some of the specific programs/services you offer locally to our young people?
Our wonderful Community Engagement and Development Officer, Gary Maher, has coordinated a group of passionate local services to bring together a great program of events for Youth Week in 2017. This year’s Youth Week has the theme: Get Involved! Be Heard! Make a Difference!
headspace Coffs Harbour is the lead agency for the youth initiated and driven “Yellow Door Art Exhibition”, which will be held at Coffs Central from 31 March to 13 April. There will workshops held throughout this period to inspire and challenge the artist in everyone and to experience the health benefits of creativity, imagination and expression.
Other activities include the Coffs Harbour Youth Futures Forum to be held at Boambee East Community Centre on 4th April and the Youth Week Film Night at Jetty Theatre on 6th April.
Where is the headspace premises located in Coffs Harbour – and how long have you been based there?
The entire GenHealth team, including headspace Coffs Harbour, moved to our new premises on Little Street, Coffs Harbour (opposite the Fire Station) in October 2016.
Your building looks amazing – so cheerful and colourful! Who was responsible for the artwork on the external wall?
Art is a strong theme of our new digs. The headspace Coffs Harbour shopfront and a number of our internal walls feature installed artwork created by young people from our local region who submitted their pieces to the Yellow Door Arts Festival in 2016. These are beautiful pieces that tell stories of the strength and diversity of the young people of the Coffs Coast.
The mural on Studio Lane was created by Gumbaynggirr artists Brentyn Lugnan and Yowa, in collaboration with local artist Ash Johnson. It is an eye-catching celebration of the local Indigenous culture, young people and of the breathtaking beauty of our region.
What have you found to be some of the biggest challenges facing our local youth in recent times?
Young people in our region face challenges common to many young people across Australia and the globe. These include learning about one’s self (identity, sexuality, values, culture), thinking and planning their future (careers, partners, family, location) and negotiating the day to day pressures (social media, financial strains, relationships, school, job). In our region there are further pressures, such as limited employment opportunities for youth, housing availability and affordability, and the tyranny of distance to specialist services and opportunities.
What types of people can headspace assist?
headspace Coffs Harbour is part of the network of headspace Centres across Australia that provide support, information and assistance to young people (aged 12 to 25 years) who may be experiencing problems with mental health, physical health, alcohol and other drugs or require vocational support. We are also able to provide information to family and friends of young people who are experiencing such problems.
How do people utilise headspace’s services … are referrals necessary, or do you take walk-ins?
Referrals are accepted from any services, clinicians, schools, government agencies and friends or family members. While a referral is helpful, it isn’t necessary, as young people can self-refer by either filling in a referral form from our website or walking into our Centre.
Where can readers find out more info?
Our website is a good starting point to learn about our service and to access a Referral Form. https://headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/coffs-harbour/
Young people, their family or friends can also call us on (02) 6652 1878.