TWO former Kerang students have returned to the district to join the team at headspace Swan Hill, a new service providing mental health and wellbeing support to young people.
Jasmin Booth and Lindsay Rose, both former Kerang Technical High School students, recently returned home to work at headspace, which opened its doors in February 2016.
The duo visited Kerang Technical High School on Tuesday to discuss how headspace staff could offer mental health support to students and upskilling to teachers.
Both studied mental health-related courses at university after graduating from high school.
"I was born and raised in Kerang and completed high school at KTHS and after that went to university in Melbourne for five years and studied Psychology and a Masters in Counselling," Ms Booth said.
She then worked in Darwin for 18 months before returning to the region in October last year to take up a job as a mental health counsellor at headspace.
Mr Rose studied social work at university and later gained his mental health accreditation.
"After that I worked for headspace in Bendigo for four years as the senior clinician and then at the end of last year took the role as senior clinician at Swan Hill, where I supervise other mental health clinicians and provide one-on-one counselling to young people," Mr Rose said.
headspace is a national youth foundation providing wellbeing services to 12 to 25-year-olds, covering four core areas - mental health, physical health, work and study support, and alcohol and other drug services.
headspace Swan Hill is one of almost 100 centres nationwide provide support services to young people.
"We have a lot of young people who travel to Swan Hill for support and I think we've achieved above the goals that were initially set - engagement is increasing and referrals and self-referrals are increasing, which are all ticks," Mr Rose said.
To date, support has predominantly been offered in-house at the headspace centre, but Mr Rose said during the next 12 months staff would ramp up a plan to visit schools and community groups.
"We are looking to provide a lot more in-school training, and to community groups as well," he said.
"We will go into schools and teach them what leads to mental health and how to look after yourself, and we will upskill teachers community group members."
Young people can access the services at headspace by calling (03) 4010 7100.