Heading into Year 9 in 2013, Hannah* wasn’t happy. Two years before, she’d moved back to Hobart from Ulverstone to live with her mother.
But the change took a toll.
“Following the move, I was finding life very difficult,” the now 20-year-old says. “I felt like I had been replaced in my old friendship group.
“I felt isolated.”
But Hannah’s life changed when headspace Hobart’s community health educator visited her sport class to talk about services available to help young people manage their mental health.
She specifically remembers being told about eheadspace – a confidential, free and secure space where young people aged from 12 – 25 can chat by email or phone with a qualified youth mental health professional.
It’s designed to be a judgment-free, digital zone young people can go to talk about the challenges in their lives.
“I accessed eheadspace until I got used to being back at home,” Hannah says.
She eventually joined the Youth Reference Group to work with other young headspace clients and people who are passionate about youth mental health.
In 2017, she also signed up for another new initiative: the Individual Placement and Support Program, funded by the Australian Government, which aims to support young people into work.
These days, Hannah is working in retail and studying with the University of Tasmania. She’s enjoying her new employment and has even donated clothes to headspace so other young clients who can’t afford clothes for job interviews can use them.
“Hopefully, I can encourage other young people to get help before things get really bad for them.”
You can read Hannah’s full story in the upcoming edition of Primary Health Matters, due out in November.
headspace is supported by Primary Health Tasmania under the Australian Government’s PHN program.
*Name changed for privacy reasons.