Twenty-year-old Grafton man, Simon Colgrave, who is studying a bachelor of nursing degree at Southern Cross University, says he “hopes to do honours in mental health in the future”.
He fears that the “ripple effect” could worsen as a result of the spate of suicides in the Clarence Valley.
He believes that having a headspace centre located in Grafton would help manage the problem.
headspace centres provide “early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds”.
As a result of his concerns Mr Colgrave has started a change.org petition that states: “Over the past year there [have] been far too many young lives lost due to mental health issues.
“And with no mental health services within an hour’s drive, [it] makes even those seeking help to have trouble.
“Through your support through signatures, the health and wellbeing of the people of Grafton could be greatly increased; we need this.”
A headspace centre is “designed to make it easy as possible for a young person and their family to get the help they need for problems affecting their wellbeing”, the headspace website states.
“This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.”
Mr Colgrave said “just having the ability to see a counsellor, not in school, someone private and confidential, would make it a lot easier”.
He said he’d known a lot of people or their friends who had committed suicide. “It’s a subject close to my heart,” he said. “I don’t want to lose anymore friends.”
Mr Colgrave met with page MP Kevin Hogan in Lismore last Friday.
Mr Hogan said he had been working behind the scenes to provide more services in the valley.
“It was great to meet Simon and hear his concerns and ideas,” he said.
Mr Colgraves petition, which had been signed by 1593 people at the time of writing, can found by Googling ‘change.org headspace Grafton’.
Mr Hogan provided the following support services information:
• NewAccess a beyondblue initiative is a free coaching program with face to face or phone sessions. Phone 1300 137 934.
• Free services are available via Healthy Minds, which provides professional support by a psychologist or mental health nurses for people at moderate risk of suicide. For more information 1300 137 237.
• Cranes offers wellness and outreach programs in addition to mental health education. They can be contacted on 02 6642 7257.
• Community Mental Health Services Grafton 02 6640 2393 offers a referral system to callers in need of assistance.
• Mind Health Connect : http://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au.
• WayAhead Directory : http://www.directory.wayahead.org.au.
• The beyondblue Support Service
• www .beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support or call 1300 22 4636.
• Lifeline: www.lifeline.org.au or call 13 11 14.
• Suicide Call Back Service: www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au or call 1300 659 467.
• School counsellors also if you are a school student.
• If you or someone you know needs help, 24/7 crisis support is available by phoning Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or www.kidshelp.com.au.
• Headspace (if there is no local centre) can be accessed by phone 1800 650 890 or go