Penrith Street University to help youth struggling with mental health, addiction

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The Penrith Street University held its official launch on April 1. The Henry St premises has been transformed into a dynamic, interactive space aimed at reducing young people’s drug related issues.

There are also a variety of programs centred on reducing drug use, crime and suicide. Qualified counsellors are available to young people who need support.

Matt Noffs, CEO of the new centre’s operators, the Ted Noffs Foundation said, ‘Thanks to COVID, this launch is happening a year later than originally planned – but it will be worth the wait. This unique centre has a wide range of services in a safe, healthy environment that actively encourages the young people of Penrith to flourish. It will deliver positive outcomes in improving the mental and physical health of young people, reducing crime and problematic drug use.’

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He added, ‘We are extremely grateful to the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network for the funding provided to enable this invaluable service to come to life. It ticks so many boxes for the young people of the Penrith area – free, accessible, meaningful recreation facilities, safe social spaces, and early intervention and support services – all close to home.’

Wentworth Healthcare CEO, Lizz Reay said, “We are excited to be able to bring this innovative youth service to the streets of Penrith.”

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“Essential to what we do as a Primary Health Network, and as a regional health planning and funding body, is knowing our region and understanding the primary healthcare needs of our community,” she said.

“Our region has been lacking addiction support services and particularly services that engage with young people in a non-clinical setting.”

“To be able to respond to an identified need like this, and to provide greater local support to young people struggling with mental health and addiction issues, is at the heart of why Primary Health Networks were put in place,” she added.

The Street University is located at 2/114 – 116 Henry Street Penrith.