A MENTAL health centre for young people is one step closer to fruition, with a manager appointed and a location found.
The future Tamworth headspace will be led by Helen Carter, who stepped into her new role in September, with the centre to be located within the PCYC building.
Ms Carter was formerly a rehabilitation clinician with Hunter New England Health, working with people aged 18 to 30 years old with first-episode psychosis and other mental illnesses.
“Helen’s experience in the mental health field coupled with her dedication to assisting people living with mental illness made her the ideal person to fill this role,” Centacare New England North West chief executive officer Fergus Fitzsimons said.
When it opens in February next year, the headspace centre will bring together mental health, drugs and alcohol, physical health, education and employment services.
Ms Carter said it would provide a youth-friendly, accessible space to get help – something mental health services hadn’t done in the past.
This would hopefully encourage more people to seek help for mental illness, with just one in four people affected doing so now, she said.
Ninety-two per cent of young people who have had access to a headspace centre have reported an improvement in their mental health.
The average age of the onset of mental illness is 18 and 75 per cent of emerging disorders present by the age of 25.
The Tamworth headspace centre will be overseen by a consortium comprising of Centacare New England North West, Oxley Local Area Command, Hunter New England Health, Northwest Health, Tamworth and Gunnedah PCYC, Aboriginal Employment Strategy, Tamworth Youth Care and a4e.