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Mental Health Foundation concerned for youth

Mental Health Foundation deeply concerned about youth health centre closure

The Mental Health Foundation is concerned about the forthcoming closure of a youth health centre in Christchurch, due to a lack of funding.

198 Youth Health Centre, which will close on April 30, has been receiving funding from the Canterbury District Health Board, but in recent years there has been no cost of living increase. This has meant an effective cut in income and the centre has been unable to cover the shortfall.

The centre, which has been delivering holistic health services for young people between the ages of 10 and 25 for the past 15 years, has 7,000 visits from young people a year during the 30 hours per week it is open, and turns away between five and 10 people a day for lack of resources.

“The closure of the centre is deeply concerning as it has been meeting the needs of a high risk group of young people,” Judi Clements, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation says. “One in five young people experience depression and the lack of investment and subsequent closure means that many young people will be left with limited access to mental health and drug and alcohol services.”

“This service is a trailblazer and one we should be looking to preserve and replicate, not put at risk or close. Ensuring young people’s needs are met is sound investment as it can avoid worse problems and more costly interventions later on.”


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