Headspace opening a win for people power
STEP by step, the Clarence Valley has turned itself into a community that offers much-needed mental health services for its youth.
Just a couple of years ago impromptu community meetings were held in Grafton to addressed what was an emergency issue for a town in crisis - to fill the absolute void of services for young people in their greatest time of need.
The Our Healthy Clarence initiative was born from those early meetings, and from it a clear, definitive and thoughtful plan drawn. Now, the building blocks from that plan have taken shape.
Headspace is a symbolic centrepiece of that plan. The announcement in February this year of its pending arrival brought Federal Minister for Mental Health Greg Hunt, 2010 Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry and a string of dignitiaries to town, as a sense of urgency hovered above the media congregation in Prince St.
Today marks a significant milestone in the progress of this plan - with the official opening of Headspace at the Grafton Community Centre.
As our front page story highlights, Headspace is but one initiative giving young people an outlet.
Seeking help is the most important and often hardest step to combat those mental demons. But it was even harder when those avenues of support - locally - did not exist. The key now to make people aware of and trust those support networks available.