Mental health support available for students returning to school 

Written byChristine Tondorf
Published on07 Feb, 2022
Amir Hosseini Tvskqeorbl4 Unsplash

RELEASED: February 4, 2022

Mental health support for school students of all ages is available in the Northern Rivers, as primary and secondary pupils settle into a new year and regular Covid-19 tests.  

The not-for-profit organisation Social Futures delivers the youth mental health service, headspace (for 12 to 25 years), and the Mijung Jarjums Kids in Mind program (for 0 to 18 years) on the North Coast.   

headspaceLismore and headspace Tweed Heads  

headspace Lismore Program Manager Simone Balzer said both headspace Lismore and headspace Tweed Heads experienced a rise in more complex cases following the arrival of Covid-19.  

“We are seeing increasing levels of anxiety disorders, suicide ideation, self-harm and social isolation,” Mr Dowker said. 

“This is the first time in 100 years that a generation of youth have had to deal with a pandemic as well as all the normal pressures of transitioning from childhood to adulthood. 
Of course, many young people are facing mental health challenges after two difficult years.”  

headspace offers  support for young people between the ages of 12-15.  The headspace model offers support to young people in four key areas: mental health; alcohol and drugs; education and employment support; and physical and sexual health.  The goal of both headspace Tweed Heads and headspace Lismore is to provide young people with wrap-around support within the service where they can access a multi-discipline health workforce which includes GPs, psychologists, social workers, dieticians as well as other health professionals. We also work really closely with other service providers to ensure that young people have access to a wide range of support options. 

To contact headspace Lismore phone (02) 6625 0200. headspace Tweed Heads is on (07) 5589 8700. 

 Mijung Jarjums – Kids in Mind 

Mijung Jarjums Program Manager Holly Loveday said primary and secondary children were beginning the year with additional challenges, namely the need for Covid-19 testing and concerns around transmission. 

“Demand for Mijung Jarjums programs definitely increased in the second half of the year as a result of the NSW lockdowns,” she said. 

Mijung Jarjums focuses on early interventions and engagement with children aged 0 to 18 years who are at risk of developing or showing early signs of mental illness, and their families. It is a non-clinical mental health service that aims to reduce risk factors and increase the protective factors that enhance resilience in young people. Support is child and young person-centred while working in a whole-of-family context. The service offers counselling, group work, long-term case management and practical support. 

Holly said children and youth with pre-existing or developing mental health and anxiety conditions were often most vulnerable to pandemic stresses.  

“Our aim is to improve the wellbeing of children and young people and enable full participation in their community,” she said.  

“We work closely with other local services to provide flexible and responsive service delivery individually planned around each child or young person. 

“We have services in the Lismore, Casino and Kyogle districts.”   

You can contact Mijung Jarjums on (02) 6620 1896. 

PHOTO: Amir Hosseini on Unsplash