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Youth Mental Illness – Critical Need For Support

There is a critical need in Gippsland for a 24 hour residential and treatment facility for young people who are suffering from drug and alcohol abuse and/or induced early psychosis.

In a letter to all coalition government MP’s in Gippsland, the region’s mental health advocate, Barrier Breakers, has called for the establishment of a Youth Prevention and Recovery Care Service, known as a Y-PARC.

Y-PARC’s provide 24 hour residential, treatment and support to young people aged 16-25. They are particularly designed as an alternative to inpatient care and to assist in transitioning young people from hospital care back into their communities.

A Y-PARK was opened in Bendigo last week to serve young people in the Bendigo Loddon Mallee region at a cost of around $10 million.

Barrier Breakers CEO, Derek Amos has told Gippsland MP’s that “While not denying a need for this service in Bendigo, we submit that the underlying factors, which resulted in the government’s decision to locate the Bendigo Y-PARC, are arguably just as relevant and strong and probably more in need of redress, right here in Gippsland”.

Mr. Amos said Gippsland’s need was evidenced by the government’s extra funding for Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH) to extend facilities for alcohol and drug effected young people who present at the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department (A&E).

He said, “To really properly address this problem, this “first point of contact” at the A&E must be followed-up with the treatment and support that a Y-PARC can offer. This region has no other alternative residential and treatment option for our young people.”

“There is an alarming increase in alcohol and drug induced psychosis in our society.”

“More relaxed liquor licensing laws extended trading hours and a concentration of night-clubs and dance club venues have all provided easier access to party drugs and alcohol, which is seriously impacting on our young people with increasing incidents of youth Psychosis.”

“This is no more evident than in those larger towns in our region where there is a concentration of liquor outlets, which particularly target young people. For example, Traralgon has now the dubious reputation of being the “night-club capital” of Gippsland.”

“It is of little wonder why it is considered necessary to expand the LRH A&E to address the problem”,Mr. Amos concluded.”

Barrier Breakers has offered to meet the targeted MP’s, either individually in their electorate offices or collectively at Parliament House to further lobby for a Y-PARC for Gippsland.

For further information – contact Derek Amos on 0428397706

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