IN exciting news last week, the work of the South Gippsland Hospital Youth Assist Clinic (YAC), together with others in the region (Leongatha, Korumburra and Wonthaggi), was recognised with funding of $60,000 each through the Gippsland Primary Health Network for the next 12 months. Future funding will also include Foster YAC being part of an outreach function for a new Headspace being developed in Wonthaggi.
Six years ago, due to government changes to the school nurse program, the concept of a ‘drop in’ clinic for young people to access free and confidential healthcare and mental health advice and treatment became a reality and in early 2012, South Gippsland Hospital’s Community Health Centre opened YAC at the Foster War Memorial Arts Hall.
“This is a fantastic outcome for our local youth and the region as a whole. Access to appropriate healthcare for young people in rural areas is a really important factor in making a healthy and happy transition to adulthood. This security of funding will ensure the wellbeing of our young people is addressed now and into the future,” said Samantha Park, Director Community Health and one of the founders of the Clinic.
She went on to say that with strong, ongoing support from the community and a demonstrated need for youth services in the Corner Inlet area, the YAC has kept its doors open. This would not have been possible without major funding from day one from the Toora and District Community Bank , the Rotary Club of Foster, Yanakie Campdraft Association and project funding from a number of trusts and foundations. It would also not have been possible to operate without the support and partnership of the doctors and mental health nursing service from the Foster Medical Centre.