Headspace Murray Bridge settles on former CFS HQ as its new home
The young mental health centre will move out of the city's old railway station early in 2021.
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An open-access clinic for young people will occupy the former Country Fire Service headquarters on Seventh Street, Murray Bridge early next year.
Youth mental health organisation Headspace has settled on the brick building as its future home after a six-month search.
The move will help people between the ages of 12 and 25 get counselling more quickly.
About 50 people were on a waiting list for mental health appointments in Murray Bridge last week, according to centre manager Suzanne Fuzzard.
At the new site, young people will be able to drop in and chat with a clinician right away, or after a short wait.
Those who needed ongoing support would be able to book an appointment, but in many cases one session did the trick, Ms Fuzzard said.
“In our experience, 50 per cent of people have found that sufficient, working through whatever problem they’re having at the time,” she said.
“There are things we can work through with young people to help them manage that problem so that they don't feel like their world’s falling apart.
“Lots of young people might just need to be heard and told that they’re not going crazy, they’re just having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.”
Headspace had originally planned to move out of its cramped, ageing premises above the local youth centre, The Station, by year’s end.
That plan has now been pushed back to sometime around March.
Headspace signed a contract last Wednesday for a refit of the new space, which will include 12 offices – some of which will be used for consultations – plus a community engagement and events space.
“We’ll still be within eyesight of The Station and we hope to continue an ongoing relationship around activities at The Station, but we’ll have our own space,” Ms Fuzzard said.
“That’s pretty exciting.
“It’s really accessible but it’s tucked away, so it gives people privacy.”
The building was also big enough that Headspace would be able to host visiting experts in everything from relationship counselling to drug and alcohol abuse; and could expand if extra funding became available for mental health services in future.