New mental health service to open in the Whitsundays
Mental health services are being boosted across the Whitsundays, with Headspace expanding its facilities across the region - just months after launching a hub in Sarina.
The new "satellite service" aims to take pressure off the Mackay hub, which has seen an overwhelming demand of young people seeking help for their mental health.
Northern Australia Primary Health is actively recruiting more Headspace staff as wait lists get longer, with Covid believed to be a key player in the increase.
But chief executive Luke Guazzo sees it as a positive, as young people are feeling more comfortable to ask for help.
"Mental health is a complex space, there'll be numerous reasons across the increase - it's an issue that's been faced nation-wide across the country at the moment," Mr Guazzo says.
"It's [Headspace] designed to be a welcoming space for anybody to turn up either self-referred or via their GP.
"We'll make them feel comfortable that they can actually speak to one of our clinicians and get the support they need."
Whitsundays hub to start construction
Construction on the Whitsundays facility is expected to begin later this month, after delays in building and timelines because of Covid.
Mr Guazzo says they are aiming to get on the ground as soon as possible.
"Opening is just going to be dependent in regards to how we can go with accessing trade contracts, as well as from the recruitment process," he explains.
"We'll be working as hard as we can to get something open late this year if possible."
If you, or someone you know needs help contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. Visit https://headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/mackay/ for Headspace Mackay's opening hours.