Creating young healthy minds in Newcastle
On Thursday 8 October, Wesley Mission celebrated the official launch of Wesley Young Healthy Minds —a new early intervention service in Newcastle, for children and young people at risk of developing or showing early signs of mental illness.
The launch took place at the Wesley Oasis Centre and started with a welcome to country and smoking ceremony by Aboriginal Elder, Uncle Bill.
A flexible and responsive program
The CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev Dr Keith Garner, gave one of the key speeches and said, “the flexibility of this program enables our caseworkers to be responsive to each family environment.
“The service is unique to Newcastle: it is the only youth-funded early intervention program in the area which provides home visits and is flexible enough to fit with the needs of each family,” he said.
Wesley Young Healthy Minds has been funded through the Australian Government’s Family Mental Health Support Services. The program comes at a time when concern about mental health among young people is growing: in 2013, 15.2 per cent of young people identified mental health as a major issue facing Australia, up from 10.7 per cent in 2011.
Building the capabilities of young people
Wesley Young Healthy Minds aims to develop young people’s capabilities, increase their well-being and help them actively participate in community life by providing flexible services like home visiting, advocacy, individual support within the family setting, and school and sporting engagement.
The program saw its first client at the end of August and is now supporting five young people a week and hopes to help many more.