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Opinion: Youth need urgent help

"WHEN it comes to dealing with the mental health of children the earlier you get in the better. It is really critical that children are looked after from an early age because children are developing all the time and illnesses such as anxiety, depression and ADHD can seriously affect their development process."

These words from mental health worker Jodie Johnson sum up the problems and the solutions needed to address mental health problems faced by youth in the Clarence Valley.

The report issued by the Federal Health Ministry clearly shows how young people in rural areas are far less likely to be able to access appropriate help. Having services in Lismore and Coffs Harbour may seem as if there is help not too far away, but it is not enough.

Many of the young people struggling with mental health problems won't want to share that information with their friends or their parents, and with local services few and full, how are they meant to travel out of the Valley to get help?

The Valley is short of mental health services of all types. Getting a specialist youth service in place would be a great start.+



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