Scot MacDonald
19th Apr 2018

Young people aged 10 to 19 with drug and alcohol problems will get earlier access to treatment with $440,468 in funding to boost support services in Newcastle.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC today announced a contract has been awarded to Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Hunter Primary Care Ltd to deliver social work and psychology treatment services.

“We all acknowledge that every young person deserves to feel loved and supported and have the opportunity to succeed in life,” Mr MacDonald said.

“I am committed to tackling alcohol and drug misuse and ensuring that our young people receive the same quality healthcare as anyone else in the State.”

The new services will focus on young people who are experiencing moderate to severe substance use, who have mental health issues or who are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island descent.

Across the State, the NSW Government has awarded contracts to 10 NGOs to provide new withdrawal and counselling services, predominantly in regional and rural areas.

The services will provide tailored care, including medical and mental health services and housing and employment support, as well as help young people reconnect with family where possible.

This announcement is part of a broader $75 million drug package over four years to tackle alcohol and drug misuse in our communities.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government has committed a record $208 million towards alcohol and other drug services in the 2017-18 Budget.

“The NSW Liberal & Nationals Government has spent more on drugs and alcohol programs and prevention in one year than Labor spent in its entire last term,” Mr Hazzard said.

Hunter Primary Care Mental Health Executive, Katrina Delamothe, said the funds would complement the vital services already provided by Hunter Primary Care and headspace Newcastle to young people in the Hunter region.

“Drug and alcohol misuse is an issue facing many young Australians. headspace Newcastle has a well-established track record in delivering quality mental health services to young people in our community and this funding will allow us to offer additional levels of support and interventions in this area of need.”