The outer east of Melbourne is now well serviced with youth mental health support and other important health services following the opening of two new centres housed in the same building in central Lilydale.
The Lilydale Youth Hub and headspace services had ‘soft’ openings as a result of COVID restrictions, and are now taking referrals and offering a range of telehealth appointments while Melbourne remains in lockdown.
Co-located in a building in the main retail centre of Lilydale, the two services are free and provide young people from the surrounding areas with confidential counselling and support for a range of needs.
The Hub is operated by Inspiro Community Health Service and offers – via a consortia partnership - housing assistance, legal advice and education services as well as counselling to help young people prioritise their health. It also partners with Oonah Health and Community Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific support programs. The Hub will offer a number of smaller centres in Yarra Junction, Belgrave and Healesville which will commence delivery of in-person services when restrictions allow.
EACH, which runs headspace Lilydale, provides young people with access to GPs and mental health professionals for mental health and wellbeing support, physical and sexual health appointments and alcohol and drug assistance, as well as work or study help.
Tony Smith MP, Federal Member for Casey has strongly advocated for these services in Melbourne’s outer east, the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. He says, “COVID has thrown so many challenges at us over the past 18 months. Our young people in particular have borne the brunt of reduced social activity and connections.
“The Youth Health Hub and headspace service were announced in 2019. Based in Lilydale they’re now providing much needed health support and advice to teenagers and young adults.”
Funded by the Australian government via the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN), the services intend to offer in-person appointments as soon as restrictions allow. EMPHN CEO Janine Wilson says both the Hub and headspace are fully staffed and ready to go. “The staff at both these services are well trained professionals and highly engaged in the local area. I am so impressed with how Inspiro and EACH are actively reaching out to the community and providing as much of their support services as possible via telehealth until in-person visits can occur.”
The Hub and headspace Lilydale are located adjacent to the train station and bus stop on the main shopping strip of Lilydale, providing easy access for teens and young adults coming to appointments from school, home, work or further study.