YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH

FIRST PUBLIC EVENT IN TWO YEARS

Beryl and Astro

In February “Captain Beryl” compered a fund-raising launch to jupiter. Beryl is pictured above with Astro Alissi who is COPSY’s newest committee member and a jupiter Youth Ambassador (more on COPSY and jupiter below).

Over the last couple of years, it has been impossible to run public fund-raising events. After a few postponements, we decided to press ahead with a major fund-raising event on the 15thFebruary. It was enormously successful with over 140 people attending, raising pledges worth over $100,000 and educating local benefactors about what we are doing.

The event was hosted by the Shoal Bay Country Club in NSW at its fabulous Greek restaurant, Atmos. The four-course lunch and serving staff were generously provided free by our host so that all ticket sales at $135/head went to COPSY Inc. to support the jupiter service.

We must also thank Wine Selectors who persuaded three major local wineries (Mount Pleasant, Tulloch and Usher Tinkler Wines) to provide a dozen different wines over the course of the afternoon free. And, we also thank AV Living who synced the three large television screens around Atmos.

Contributing to the success of the afternoon were our guest speakers John Eales (shown in the picture above), Nick Newling (a popular advocate on youth mental health), Stephen Hunt (philanthropist and winner of the 2021 NSW Business Leader Award), Damian Coxon and Astro (both COPSY Inc. Committee members).

OUR E-CLUB’S ROLE

The E-Club Serving Humanity (D9705) has over half a dozen important international projects and just one local project, which serves youth in Port Stephens, NSW. In December 2021 Youth Mental Health – jupiter (RABS) was recognised as a RAWCS project.

Nan and Geoff Basser

Two of our members (Geoff Basser OAM and John de Ridder) are also on the Committee of the registered charity, Caring for Our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY Inc.). This charity runs a free and confidential mental health and wellbeing service for youth aged 12 to 21 in the Port Stephens LGA. It is an early intervention service where help is typically given for anxiety and depression.

The Rotary Club of Medowie-Williamtown (D9670) is the local partner for the project.

DEMAND FOR THE SERVICE IS GROWING

March 2022 is the third anniversary of the jupiter service. It is clear that there is a need for this service. In November 2021, 152 free counselling sessions were delivered compared with 50 sessions a year earlier.

Our first counselling room

Our first counselling room opened officially in March 2019 at the Salamander Bay Library and Community complex (close to the two high schools on the Tomaree Peninsula). In 2021 we opened rooms in Tanilba Bay (on the Tilligeree Peninsula) in partnership with the Tomaree Neighbourhood Centre. This year we opened a third set of counselling rooms in Raymond Terrace (office pictured above).

It now costs around $200,000 a year to provide free youth mental health counselling and well-being services across our three sites and through telehealth (mainly phones). While we are grateful for the grants we have received, public donations and events will be key to future of the service.