PORT Stephens students will learn vital life and resilience skills to support improved mental health and wellbeing, through a series of workshops being funded through a $50,000 investment by the Berejiklian Government.
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Port Stephens Duty MLC, Catherine Cusack today announced the investment for Caring for Our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY) to deliver around 70 workshops, which will reach more than 6000 people in the local community.
“This funding gives members of the community the opportunity to connect with each other and play an active role in identifying the signs and symptoms of mental illness,” Ms Cusack said.
“It will give people the skills and confidence to reach out and have a conversation about mental health and understand how to access support if needed.”
Liberal Candidate for Port Stephens, Jaimie Abbott said the sessions encourage and teach young people how to open up about their concerns, and make informed life choices.
“This funding is part of a number of NSW Government initiatives aimed at helping communities face mental health challenges unique to their area, and I commend COPSY for the work that they do in supporting vulnerable young people in our community,” Ms Abbott said.
President of COPSY, John de Ridder extremely pleased with the investment and said the funding would go a long way in helping the youth in Port Stephens.
“COPSY welcomes this very generous grant from the Berejiklian Government which will enable us to deliver programs into our local schools to improve mental health services,” said Mr de Ridder.
Kate Washington MP, who has been been involved with COPSY since its inception, and who made representation on COPSY’s behalf to the Minister for Health, told News Of The Area, “After so many years of hard work it is great to see COPSY’s worked being backed.”
“There has been a long standing need for youth mental health services and support in Port Stephens, Congratulations COPSY on receiving this grant!”
COPSY is initially targeting Tomaree High School, Alesco Senior College and St Philips Christian College.
They will also establish a counselling service, “A Space to Talk” for Port Stephens youth aged 12 – 18 years at the Tomaree Library & Community Centre.
If you or someone you know needs crisis support phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
To find local mental health services in your area contact the NSW Mental Health Access Line on 1800 011 511.