Young people guide headspace Bathurst through 2016

IMG 4625

Applications are open for headspace Bathurst’s 2016 Youth Reference Group (BYRG). Any young people aged 12 to 25 years are encouraged to apply.

In 2015 headspace Bathurst has experienced huge benefits from working closely with 15 local young people who form the BYRG. This group meets once a month and helps lead our team in the development and review of programs, groups and resources. They also guide us in where we focus our community awareness raising activities and events.

“It’s not always easy to get the inside scoop on what issues are facing local youth so the benefits of having a team of young people working with us to share their experience is invaluable. headspace Bathurst provides a range of free services for young people aged 12 to 25 years. These include mental health counselling, drug and alcohol support, vocational assistance, financial advice and physical health. I’m sure you can imagine how important it is for these services to genuinely connect with the young people we aim to support,” said Peter Rohr, Operations Manager at headspace Bathurst.

This year BYRG has maintained a strong focus on ensuring young people of diverse sexuality, sex and gender are supported within our service and celebrated within the wider community. With their guidance headspace Bathurst launched a local This is Oz campaign that amplified local youth voices as advocates against prejudice and discrimination.

Karen Golland, Community and Youth Engagement Coordinator at headspace Bathurst said “This is Oz forms part of ACON’s Anti-Violence Campaign and celebrates diversity whilst also challenging homophobic and transphobic prejudice to make Australia a place where everyone belongs.”

Another successful campaign launched this year for Mental Health Month by BYRG in partnership with Bathurst Regional Youth Council (BRYC) was You’ve Got This.

The You’ve Got This team was made up of 40 young people and includes representatives from each high school in Bathurst as well as a small number of Charles Sturt University (CSU) students. The campaign aimed to raise awareness and address the issue of stress. The campaign looked at the types of stress young people faced and ways stress can be managed in order to improve the quality of life within the school and community.

BYRG member and CSU student, Anthony Nougher, said “The idea behind the campaign is to help young people understand that stress is a normal part of everyday life and that coping with stressful situations – in particular stressors surrounding study and life transition points, is something they have the capacity to achieve.”

“You’ve Got This is a positive messaging campaign designed by young people who know what this feels like, and want their peers and those younger than them to know they’ve got what it takes to get through this time,” said Golland.

headspace Bathurst is now recruiting for their 2016 Youth Reference Group and are asking that anyone interested make contact with Karen Golland on 6338 1100 or by emailing karen.golland@marathonhealth.com.au.

If you know a young person in our community who would make a great youth advocate please pass on our details or point them to www.headspace.org.au/bathurst to find out more.

For more information about headspace Bathurst, please go to www.headspace.org.au/bathurst or call headspace Bathurst on (02) 6338 1100.