YOUTH week is coming, but the youth of Port Stephens are constantly on the minds of several organisations based in the Bay all of which operate all year round to support local youth.
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Recently the youth focused charities and support groups held a joint meeting to ensure that shared knowledge and resources would serve our local youth well.
In attendance were Caring For Our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY) who are developing programs and support in the area of mental health outcomes for youth; CDAT the Port Stephens Community Drug Action Team; Port Stephens Suicide Prevention Network (PSSPN); Tomaree Youth Community Action Group (TYCA); Ability Links; The Dara Van that provides food to the homeless or those who are finding it hard to manage financially; and the Real Futures Foundation which support local youth at risk of disengagement with education while creating positive career pathways.
John de Ridder, of COPSY, told News Of The Area, “High on the agenda for COPSY is to engage a youth focused Clinical Psychologist, the goal is to find a passionate individual with experience working with young adolescents.”
COPSY is aiming to provide an accessible, available and affordable youth mental health service.
He and others within the community believe this is a high priority for our local youth as distance and transport often sees them disconnected from services when they need them most.
“The services will be available quickly rather than young people being placed on long waiting lists and they will be free to high school students.
“This initiative will see services available within the community with youth no longer needing to travel to Newcastle for specialist services,” he said.
CDAT are working to develop support groups for individuals impacted by drugs and alcohol, while the Port Stephens Suicide Prevention Network are working on supporting youth and ensuring that there are services available to people at risk.
Together these groups all work to deliver positive outcomes for the community, they bring a range of expertise, in general they depend upon volunteers and fundraising to support their work.
You can find out more about these organisations, supporting their work and volunteering with their services on their Facebook Pages and websites or you can enquire for individual group contacts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
By Marian SAMPSON