ReFrame is a youth mental health service for people aged 12-25 and whom live in Wollondilly and Wingecarribee shires. Mental health is not separate to physical health so ReFrame aims to provide holistic intervention and a person doe not require a diagnosis or ‘mental illness’ to receive support. 

It was born from Headspace funding which was allocated to these shires in pert due to the high incidence of hospital and community health presentations and while it is a voluntary service it has close links across organisations and other services which can provide statutory support in times of crisis.

Community Links Wellbeing is the commissioned not for profit organisation that has over 30 years of local knowledge which has enabled direct and relatively fast engagement into areas that have expressed need for youth health support over many years. Another benefit of Community Links involvement is that anyone receiving support in one program can easily access other supports whether it be family support, playgroups or others. ReFrame employs youth mental health professionals including psychologists, social workers and psychiatric nurses along with youth workers whom all combine to provide a holistic approach to help on many different levels from creating a resume to individual therapy. Another significant role ReFrame undertakes in developing further into community partnerships and designing programs and groups targeted at needs within this age group. For example it became evident very early numerous referrals to the service included a high percentage of people within the LGBTIQA population so ReFRame engaged a youth service based in Campbelltown Traxside whom agreed to provide in collaboration health promotion and early intervention with ReFrame staff and will run a fun group for this group of young people. Sadly there are next to no specialised professional supports in either shire for this group so ReFRame and Community Links Wellbeing are determined to develop a hive of local activity and a central safe space where young people can connect and obtain support and knowledge.

Excitingly ReFrame has two walk in sites one at 5 Wingecarribee st Bowral and 6 Harper close Tahmoor which are typically staffed through the day mon-fri in which young people may simply walk in and relax, connect or play! We provide free wifi and computers, books, food,  games and pool table all of which we plan to create a culture around such as pool comps and the like. Its important to note that the walk ins have one agenda only and that is young people can feel free to be themselves without services imposing their demands on them. Starting in March are 3 local youth friendly GPS providing fully bulk billed appointments inside the Bowral walk in one day a week and booking is done easily via the intake number and one of the GPS has recent experience in the Headspace Goulburn site. Lucy our beautiful Labrador commenced to provide “pet” therapy and has become a huge hit and is the best therapist around!

ReFrame has also developed a youth reference committee with a bunch of young people who are advising service managers and staff exactly how they believe a successful youth service can be helpful and is already creating meaningful processes into the community.

Thanks to South West Sydney PHN and Community Links Wellbeing the young people of Wollondilly and Wingecarribee are now being supported to express their voices and advocate for their local needs.

All enquiries, referrals and GP bookings via 0455 104 104.

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