By Melissa Meehan
A loss of appetite, a general lack of interest in activities they previously loved… these are all signs that your teen may be struggling and need some extra help.
That’s where Headspace Knox steps in.
Headspace Knox provides early intervention mental health services to young people aged 12 to 25, and their families.
Community Engagement Coordinator Caity Cox says it’s a “super welcoming environment” where young people can access confidential and free mental health support health advice and general information.
“Our model understands that adolescence and early, early adulthood is a crucial time in a young person’s life, as research highlights that 75 per cent of mental health disorders, begin before the age of 25,” Caity said.
“So we provide a holistic approach, supporting young people early in life through four core areas so that would be mental health, physical and sexual health work and study support, and alcohol and other drugs.”
There’s a bunch of different support workers, counsellors and psychologists available through Headspace Knox as well as youth friendly doctors who can provide help, for free.
There are a few ways you can get in touch with Headspace Knox
– A young person or parent could contact the office directly
– Book an appointment
– Or drop into the centre
Parents are also welcome to contact Headspace Knox to have a chat with an intake worker about how their child is behaving and whether it would be a good idea to bring them in.
Caity says some trigger points that parents can look out for include changes in behaviour and changes in eating and sleeping habits.
“Generally when a young person is struggling with their mental health, they may sort of, isolate themselves, either from their friends or their families spend more time in the room, those sorts of things,” she said.
“We are in voluntary service so we can’t make people engage with us so the young person have to like watch engage in the service.”
It’s well known that mental health has previously had a stigma attached, but Caity’s role is to get out there in the community and let kids and parents alike know that it’s OK to ask for help.
“We also have a youth advocacy group called the Youth Action force, which is made up of young volunteers from within the community,” she said.
“We’ve got about 14 members currently now use action force and they come out to events and presentations with me. So it’s not just about, I guess, Headspace preaching to the community as young people preaching to young people, which is really powerful.”
Headspace Knox has also recently partnered up with Knox Skate Park, hoping being seen in the community makes it easier for teens to know support is out there.
Tips for maintaining a healthy headspace:
– Get into life, do things that you enjoy
– Learning skills that help during tough times (try journaling or things like that)
– Create connections
– Eat well
– Stay active
– Sweet dreams (sleep is so important)
– Cut back on drugs and alcohol (these can have a bad affect on mental health)
Headspace Knox is located at 2 Capital City Blvd, Wantirna South