Page updated July 24, 2020

Integrated Youth Health Hub set to open soon

July 24, 2020

Young people’s health and aspirations are the focus of a new Youth Health Hub to be established in Lilydale.

The Integrated Youth Health Hub will provide a range of activities and engagement, while supporting young people with their health, mental health, support, employment, housing, legal and other needs.

“The vision of the Hub is not just that services will be co-located, but that they will be ‘integrated’ with diverse staff and young people working closely together,” said Sue Sestan, Inspiro Community Health CEO.

Five leading health and community organisations have come together with a clear vision, and are committed to working closely with young people in the design and development of the Hub from its inception.

The consortium to develop and operate the Hub is Inspiro Community Health Service, Oonah Aboriginal Corporation, Anchor Inc., Cire Services and Eastern Community Legal Centre. The activities and services will be delivered by the consortium members and additional partners including Eastern Health, Youth Support and Advocacy Service, and a General Practitioner.

“How the services are delivered will be guided by the voices of young people from the area via a Youth Reference Group. The services will be appropriate to the local community, providing connections, interventions and seamless care to young people where and when they need it,” Ms Sestan said.

The partnership is committed to ensuring that all young people from the area experience the Hub as a place of belonging and inclusion. Anne Jenkins, Oonah CEO said, “Our experience of embracing and supporting our young people and celebrating culture is key to our identity. We’re pleased to be bringing that expertise and approach into the Hub development with our partners.”

Heidi Tucker, Anchor CEO, highlighted the importance and potential of young people both advising and delivering the Hub’s vision. “The Hub will feature a strong ‘lived experience’ workforce. We will employ staff who have used a variety of health services as young people who will assist other young people to navigate and use the services they need.”

The Hub Youth Reference Group is being established immediately to inform the design, marketing and implementation of the Hub.

The Hub will be located in Lilydale with outreach services operating from Belgrave, Healesville and Yarra Junction. Cire CEO, Gus Seremetis, emphasised the value of the partnership collaboration.

“The five partners bring diverse skills and expertise as well as additional venues across the Yarra Ranges, with a strong local presence and connections. As well as adding value, this will create opportunities for more community involvement. We will also work closely with Yarra Ranges Council and other agency partners to bring the Hub to life,” said Gus.

Eastern Community Legal Centre CEO Michael Smith highlighted both the challenges and opportunities of integrating services.

“Young people need to feel they belong and can trust the services they access. Once they have that, they usually don’t want to retell their story to lots of different professionals. The Hub gives us a real opportunity to wrap health and other supports around them, with confidentiality and care,” said Michael.

It is expected that service activities will commence from the Hub in August 2020. The service is funded to $4.1 million by the Australian Government through the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network.

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