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Some young people do not have the support they need to assist them with accessing health care. This can mean that they miss out on the care they need or experience difficulties accessing or knowing what the right type of care is.

The Youth Health Team is a FREE and confidential health service that works with young people who are 12-18 years, with a particular focus on young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. To be eligible the young person must frequent, live in, work in or study in the regions of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie or Port Stephens.

The Youth Health Team will assist these young people by supporting them to engage effectively with health and other services.

How we work with young people

The Youth Health Team aims to improve the health outcomes of young people with complex health and social needs. We take a strengths based, harm minimisation approach that is respectful and supportive of the young person. We support and encourage young people to take responsibility for their health care.  We support young people experiencing a diverse range of problems including:

  • Stressful life situations
  • Physical and emotional concerns
  • Sexual health issues
  • Relationship issues including domestic violence
  • Behaviour’s that put them at risk of poor health outcomes
  • Learning difficulties
The Team

Our team is made up of the following clinicians:

  • Clinical Nurse Consultant: Karen De Wit
  • Social Worker: Jamie Culver
  • General Paediatrician: Dr Taya Dowling
  • Administration Officer: Kylie Carter
Services we provide

The Youth Health Team provides short term intervention that involves youth specific assessment and triage of presenting health issues. This includes:

General Health - Medical assessment and treatment with a Paediatrician, with referral to other health providers. E.g. general practitioners, dentists, optometrists, and follow up on discharge from hospital.

Behaviour, Development and Learning Concerns – Assessment and treatment with a Paediatrician with the capacity to provide ongoing paediatric review if necessary.

Sexual Health - Education, contraceptive support and advice, STI screening and pregnancy options.

Substance Misuse - Screening, education and referral to Alcohol & Other Drug support and treatment services

Mental Health - We screen for emerging mental health concerns as part of our assessment and refer to mental health services as appropriate.

We do not provide mental health counselling or treatment. If you or someone you know is in a crisis situation or needs urgent medical attention, call Triple Zero 000 or go to the closest Emergency Department.

Resources

Websites

Samaritans: Samaritans Youth Services in Newcastle and surrounds offer extensive help to young people aged from 12 years. This includes support with everything from counselling, accommodation and parenting advice to drugs and alcohol, relationships and much more. https://www.samaritans.org.au/service_category/youth-services/

Link2home: Link2home is a single state wide information and referral service to assist homeless people and those at risk of homelessness. Link2Home provides information, conducts assessments, as well as makes referrals to homelessness services across NSW. Link2home is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year on 1800 152 152.

Ask Lizzy: https://askizzy.org.au/

Drugs and alcohol

https://yourroom.health.nsw.gov.au/Pages/home.aspx - A place to get facts about alcohol and other drugs

https://positivechoices.org.au/ - Drug and alcohol information

https://adf.org.au/ - Alcohol and drug foundation

https://cracksintheice.org.au/ - Information and resources about crystal methamphetamine.

Youth, Drug and Alcohol Service: http://www.hnekidshealth.nsw.gov.au/site/ydacs

LGBTQI+

General health

Your health rights: https://yla.org.au/nsw/topics/health-love-and-sex/your-rights-at-the-doctor/

Finding a GP: http://www.hnekidshealth.nsw.gov.au/client_images/1755297.pdf

Getting your own Medicare card: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/medicare-card

General health Information: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/healthyliving/young-people-13-19

Australian Dietary Guidelines:  Advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing - https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/

Support for eating disorders and body image issues: We believe everyone’s experience of an eating disorder or body image issue is unique and access to effective services is essential - https://butterfly.org.au/

Sexual health

Family planning: Family Planning NSW provides a non-judgmental, confidential safe space for young people to find all the reproductive and sexual health information and services they need without feeling uncomfortable.

Our clinics are youth-friendly and appointments can be made with our doctors or nurses to discuss everything from contraception and pregnancy testing to STIs.

You can find loads of resources about puberty, the body, relationships and sex including our BodyTalk website specifically designed for under 25s https://bodytalk.org.au/

No question is dumb or embarrassing so there’s no need to feel awkward talking to Family Planning NSW - https://www.fpnsw.org.au/ or 1300 658 886 and talk to a nurse who can help you.

Pacific clinic: https://hnesexualhealth.org.au/newcastle is a free sexual health clinic in Newcastle specialising in LGBTQI+.

Play Safe for 15-25 years: https://playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au/

Mental health

Reach out: ReachOut is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people and their parents. Our practical support, tools and tips help young people get through anything from everyday issues to tough times – and the information we offer parents makes it easier for them to help their teenagers - https://au.reachout.com/

EHeadspace: https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/

Youth Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/young-people

Mental health line: If you or someone you know needs help, the Mental Health Line offers: referrals to local mental health services. It is staffed by mental health professionals who will ask questions to determine if you or, the person you are concerned about, needs ongoing mental health care and how urgently it is needed - 1800 011 511

Kids help line: Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 - 1800 55 1800

Healthy relationships

What’s OK at Home? https://woah.org.au/

Love: the good, the bad and the ugly: http://lovegoodbadugly.com/

Contact us

We are based at 621 Hunter Street Newcastle. We do provide outreach services under specific circumstances.

How can you reach us?

You can call between business hours (Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm) on 49257804. Please leave a message if we are not there when you call, these are checked regularly.

We also have an email address: HNELHD-YHT@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au.

If you would like to refer a young person to our team please use the Youth Health Team referral form.

If you would like to refer a young person to our paediatrician please use this referral form.

For referrals to the Youth, Drug and Alcohol Service, please use this referral form.