Murray Bridge Headspace expands services

Windfall: Murray Mallee General Practice chief Cathy Spanton, headspace's Pia Grantham-Young and Richard Burden and Tony Pasin MP discuss new funding.
Windfall: Murray Mallee General Practice chief Cathy Spanton, headspace's Pia Grantham-Young and Richard Burden and Tony Pasin MP discuss new funding.

HEADSPACE Murray Bridge's doors are open and the professional staff are on deck providing their health service for young people 12-25 years and their families.

Headspace Murray Bridge centre manager Suzanne Fuzzard said referrals had picked up and services offered had expanded to include screen appointments.

"We are back in business, the doors are back open," she said.

"One of the benefits of the COVID-19 lock-down period was staff becoming up-skilled in the digital space, she said.

"If a young person can't reach us ... or if they are struggling with serve depression or anxiety and don't want to leave the house, we can now offer a screen appointment."

She said Headspace's group sessions had recently been able to continue and the community engagement team were busy as ever.

"In the next two weeks the engagement team have 15 school visits," she said.

"Themes that schools identified might be a problem from bullying, lack of sleep and anxiety are addressed."

Ms Fuzzard said Headspace Murray Bridge had recently resumed its group 'Hangout Space'.

On Mondays, 4-6pm young people aged 12-25 are welcome to attend Headspace in Murray Bridge and don't need to be referred or be a client.

"Young people are welcome to come in, talk to a worker in an informal way or just play pool, listing to music and chat - it can be just another way for young people to connect," she said.

Ms Fuzzard said social connection and reducing isolation had always been key to reducing depression.

"But now, more so than ever, when there was no school, or no sport it has been an issue.

"And while in lock-down in less-than-desirable circumstances, some were not safe - we are appealing to those young people to pop in."

Headspace Murray Bridge recently received Federal funding of more than $680,000 to relocate to a bigger space but to also expand services to meet demand.

"Referrals are high at nearly 50 a month," Ms Fuzzard said.

To be able to reduce wait times for physical and mental health services and service clients within 24 hours was the goal, she said.