Council calls on State Government for Lilydale Youth Hub funding
Published on 09 November 2022
Yarra Ranges Council has confirmed their commitment to advocating for equitable and accessible mental health services as part their Advocacy Agenda and see the Lilydale Youth Hub as a critical local service in helping achieve this. The integrated service is led by Inspiro Community Health, supported by a consortium of partners operating across Melbourne’s East.
Yarra Ranges Councillors believe it is everyone's role to advocate to state government to continue funding this vital service so that the young people of the Yarra Ranges have a dedicated service to support them with their mental health and wellbeing.
The Hub was funded in 2019 for a three-year period, which ends in December 2022.
‘This past year, the Hub has provided a critical point of community connection and delivered much-needed service capacity. They’ve held their doors open at a time when so many services were turning people away or putting them on extremely long waitlists,’ said Mayor Jim Child.
With the Hub’s current funding agreement set to expire at the end of this year and the growing prevalence of mental issues among young people, it’s critical that further funding be provided from the State Government to help keep their doors open.
‘We know how tough the past few years have been, and this is especially the case for our local young people who’ve lived through both the pandemic and storm event. Without the Hub, our local service providers simply cannot meet demand and our young people are left without critical support. In our regional areas, young people would be facing a round-trip of 4 hours to reach similar services in other municipalities. We have 7% more people seeking mental health related support than the Victoria overall, and a 4-hour round trip simply isn’t sustainable to the wellbeing of our community’ Cr Child said.
Last financial year, the Lilydale Youth Hub delivered 3,651 sessions and 5,632 contact hours to the Yarra Ranges Community. ‘There is absolutely no way that any other service could absorb that need the way the Hub does. It’s a project that Council supported to get off the ground, by advocating for funding from the Federal Government, in 2019. And it’s a project we continue to advocate strongly for because we know the incredible impact it has had on young people’s lives, even in a short timeframe’ he said.
‘The Lilydale Youth Hub has made a big difference to the lives of hundreds of young people and their parents in the Yarra Ranges, helping them with their mental health and wellbeing, and connecting them to the services and care that helps them to thrive.’
‘So far, we’ve supported clients in 40 of the Yarra Ranges 63 postcodes’ says Insprio CEO Sue Sestan. ‘Youth mental health is a major concern for the community and now is not the time to let a service like ours close. It gives hope and possibility to young people and helps save lives.’
'Most of our clients come from smaller suburbs and townships that have no mental or physical health services and limited public transport, including Millgrove, Seville, Woori Yallock, Badger Creek, Gruyere and Tecoma. Closing the Hub denies the community access to quality mental health support. There is a specific rise in instances relating to re-entering social situations post COVID lockdowns. Young people have reported having anxiety pre-COVID, but now finding it exacerbated or getting worse due to factors such as re-adjusting to social situations, or uncertainly about jobs, education, or health’ she said.
Yarra Ranges Council urges you to visit the Hub, connect with their team and help to keep this service running for young people and their families in the Yarra Ranges.