The region’s first ‘Street University’ will be established in Penrith by the end of the year and will provide a free community space that embraces young people’s art, music and culture while providing early intervention for addiction and mental health issues.
Announced today by Minister for Health, The Hon Greg Hunt MP and the Federal Member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh MP, the ‘Street University’ concept engages and motivates young people and helps them develop new abilities and opportunities while assisting them with personal health or social issues.
Funding for this service is provided by the Federal Government’s Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs through the Primary Health Network.
Wentworth Healthcare, the provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network, has commissioned the concept’s founder, the Ted Noffs Foundation, to design and operate the Penrith service, building on the success of the seven existing ‘Street Universities’ across Australia.
Wentworth Healthcare CEO, Lizz Reay said, “We are excited to be able to bring this innovative youth service to the streets of Penrith.”
“Essential to what we do as a Primary Health Network, and as a regional health planning and funding body, is knowing our region and understanding the primary healthcare needs of our community,” she said.
“Our region has been lacking addiction support services and particularly services that engage with young people in a non-clinical setting.”
“To be able to respond to an identified need like this, and to provide greater local support to young people struggling with mental health and addiction issues, is at the heart of why Primary Health Networks were put in place,” she added.
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