Better mental health support services on the horizon thanks to TCF funding


A new partnership formed between Colony 47, Headspace and the Tasmanian Community Fund will seek to improve the way young Tasmanians access mental health services.

Colony 47 CEO, Danny Sutton, said helping young people access the right support at the right time was critical.

“Colony 47 provides a range of services to young Tasmanians, but we’ve found a growing need for young people in our services to have more timely access to support around their mental health.

“Ultimately a lack of access to mental health supports was holding young people back from achieving their goals in the services that we offer,” Mr Sutton said.

“It was one of those light-bulb moments when we realised that if we make mental health supports available across all of our services, we could deliver better results.”

“When COVID hit last year, it became even more important to offer more accessible and timely services that had mental health support at their core.”

“On that basis, we partnered with The Link Youth Health Service who provide the Headspace service in Southern Tasmania to develop an innovative new service where clinical people could be working within our services to support both staff and young people.”

“We are extremely grateful to the Tasmanian Community Fund for providing the funding to allow us to test the idea of including mental health services into the full suite of youth services that we offer.”

“The new Horizon 47 service will see a dedicated mental health clinical support worker to support young people and staff right across our youth service programs, because we think that mental health support should be at the core of everything we do.”

Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) Chairperson, Sally Darke, said that the TCF introduced a COVID-19 specific funding round in July last year to assist community groups and organisations realign their work and adapt to deal with the impacts of the pandemic.

“Community wellbeing projects were a particular focus, because we know that the mental health of young people in particular has been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” Ms Darke said.

“Colony 47 have done a lot of work to understand the challenges for young people accessing mental health services and creating places and programs for young people feel comfortable to tackle their challenges.

We look forward seeing how Colony 47’s Horizon 47 pilot project impacts the wider youth mental health system in Tasmania and make improvements for the long term.”