Help for Fairfield's troubled young

Ready to help: Members of the local headspace youth reference group Sarah Yahya, Paola Patti, Jonathan Adu and Raphael Regala at the new centre in Liverpool with centre manager Martin Baker. Picture: Anna Warr

Ready to help: Members of the local headspace youth reference group Sarah Yahya, Paola Patti, Jonathan Adu and Raphael Regala at the new centre in Liverpool with centre manager Martin Baker. Picture: Anna Warr

FAIRFIELD'S young people have a new space to go to deal with their mental health woes.

Martin Baker, manager of Liverpool's headspace centre, which was officially opened last week, said young people in south-west Sydney aged 12 to 25 now have a place to deal with problems including anxiety and depression.

"We will be helping young people dealing with bullying, family dislocation, social and school stress, difficulties getting work and in some cases more serious mental health problems," Mr Baker said.

He said the centre was staffed by psychologists and social workers and was managed by a consortium of organisations headed by The Benevolent Society.

Opened in March, it had already had about 70 people making inquiries.

"There has been a lack of mental health services in south-west Sydney for a while and our centre will work to provide local resources to those in need.

"Young people will be able to find us online and refer themselves and we will also be taking referrals from general practitioners, school counsellors and youth services."

Mr Baker said it was important that mental health in young people is treated with particular care as 75 per cent of mental health disorders emerged in people aged younger than 25.

"We've had a few people come to us dealing with eating disorders and drug and alcohol abuse and a number of young women involved in some self-harm."

He said these mental health problems were prevalent in young people nationally.

"What makes this area different is that there is a high proportion of people from a multicultural background.

"So young people are coming from families of people who recently moved here and that presents its own challenges when adjusting to school.

"There's often quite a different view of mental health in different cultures and young people struggle to communicate with their parents due to language difficulties."

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