STARTING POINT: NCML CEO Vahid Saberi, Jake Collins, Janelle Saffin MP, Aunty Hazel Rhodes and Dr Chris Ingall at the official opening and signing of the new Headspace building in Lismore CBD.
STARTING POINT: NCML CEO Vahid Saberi, Jake Collins, Janelle Saffin MP, Aunty Hazel Rhodes and Dr Chris Ingall at the official opening and signing of the new Headspace building in Lismore CBD. Geordi Mcdougall

Lease brings Lismore Headspace facility closer

LISMORE is a step closer to getting a Headspace facility with the signing of a lease for a building in Carrington St.

Headspace is a national youth mental health support service and it should open its doors to the public in January.

A consortium of 13 local youth and health organisations are involved, with pediatrician Dr Chris Ingall chairing the group.

He said Headspace would provide a welcoming environment for young people, "with no hospital smells", and he praised all the organisations involved. "Headspace is for young people, but it needs some old heads as well," Dr Ingall said.

Page MP Janelle Saffin has been instrumental in getting the facility in Lismore, arguing to Mental Health Minister Mark Butler that there were no centres in NSW north of Coffs Harbour, and that there was a real need for it in the Northern Rivers.

"It had to stack up on merit, but we had that in spades," Ms Saffin said.

When it came to choosing the best location, a Headspace youth consultation group was asked to look at several buildings on the shortlist before choosing the old Country Energy building at the north end of Carrington St.

The building has three floors and will accommodate other services. It also has a balcony looking out into the street, which was one of the things the young people liked.

Kadina High School student Jake Collins spoke on behalf of the youth advisory group, saying one of the attractions was that it was in a quiet part of town so there wouldn't be many people looking at you when you walked in the doors.

The lead agency in the consortium is North Coast Medicare Local, and CEO Vahid Saberi thanked Janelle Saffin for her "leadership and vision" in getting the service.

Headspace is for 12-25-year-olds having a tough time - from education issues to mental health counselling and drug and alcohol support services.



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