JUPITER ascended today in Port Stephens with the launch of Caring For Our Port Stephens Youth’s (COPSY) Counselling service and space on the Tomaree Peninsula.
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The new service has been christened Jupiter, in deference to the planet having been used as an early navigation mark for travellers.
Jupiter will help our youth find their way.
The local community came out in force to support positive actions for Port Stephens youth and to support them through providing a place that is welcoming. safe, and confidential.
Port Stephens has the highest rates of mental and behavioural problems in NSW.
Meryl Swanson in addressing the launch said, “There are 2,534 12-24 year olds in Port Stephens currently affected by significant Mental Health problems.”
Year 12 student at Tomaree High School Rhiana Mackenzie recognised her participation in the two year process of creating Jupiter, “As Real Futures Foundation Ambassadors we gave input into how the space would look and feel.”
She believes that the service will reduce the stigma that young people face through accessing services within the education system.
Tomaree High School’s Head Teacher of Welfare Vicki McCleer noted that it can take up to four months for students to be seen through normal channels, Jupiter will change this for the better.
Another difference is that Jupiter provides counselling and psychology services to Port Stephens youth for free.
Jupiter will be providing our youth with healthy coping strategies ensuring youth who are suffering from mental health issues are connected with their peers, engage in sports and are provided with appropriate counselling services.
Jupiter sits within the Tomaree Library building at Salamander Bay and is open from 3-6pm weekdays.
Young people do not need a parents permission to access the service and enquiries can be made on 0490 716 265.
By Marian SAMPSON