The Youth Mental Health Committee met for the first time last night at Alan Tudge’s office in Wantirna South.
The Committee will undertake an important role in the campaign for better youth mental health services in the outer east according to local Federal Member for Aston, Alan Tudge MP.
“The establishment of a Youth Mental Health Committee of experts and community members will help to ensure that mental health stays on the agenda and can provide advice for further actions,” Mr Tudge said.
Mr Tudge welcomed Committee Members to their first meeting this week: Pauline Renzow, Kristin Michaels, Chris Potter, Cr Peter Cole, Anthony Osborne, David Jancik, Bronte Schofield, Sarah Lowenchal and Debbie Field.
“Each member brings experience, expert advice and skills to the Committee. They are local people who have a strong connection to youth mental health, a lot to contribute to the discussion and they have demonstrated their dedication to wanting to see more services in our local community.”
The establishment of the Committee was an outcome of the Youth Mental Health Forum that Mr Tudge convened in early April.
Mr Tudge outlined the objectives of the Committee which are:
- To keep youth mental health high on the agenda in the outer east.
- To provide advice (particularly to the Federal Member) on what actions should be taken in relation to mental health generally.
- To provide an accountability mechanism for actions that have been agreed by various providers.
- To support agreed efforts on the ground for things such as petitions.
Other actions which arose from the Youth Mental Health Forum include writing to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, coordinating support groups, establishing better information, and launching a campaign for a Headspace Centre in Knox. In addition, Mr Tudge recently raised $19,000 to support youth mental health charities develop a presence locally.
“We currently have a petition calling for a Headspace Centre in Knox which is being circulated and signed throughout the community. I urge anyone interested in signing the petition to contact my office on 9887 3890. We need all the support we can get,” Mr Tudge said.
“Headspace is an amazing initiative. It acts as a one-stop-shop for 12-25 year olds who are in need of mental health services”, Mr Tudge said.
“Seventy five percent of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25. It is therefore crucial for young people to be able to access support and treatment in order to minimise the impact of an illness on their development and growth.
Mr Tudge plans to table the petition in Parliament immediately following the winter recess. He asks that full petitions be returned no later than Friday, 29th July.