New ‘Youth Hub’ launches in Craigieburn this week Youth Projects launched a new, dedicated Youth Hub in Craigieburn this week to meet the demand on community, social and employment services in the North West of Melbourne. Our new Youth Hub will provide an integrated social model of health, delivering crisis support, alcohol & drug counselling, mental health service coordination, pre and post-employment support and training programs. The Youth Hub will become the main access and navigation centre for young people in the region. Youth Projects' new Youth Hub in Craigieburn Young people are less likely than any other age group to seek professional health, and with 75% of severe mental health problems emerging before the age of 25 in Victoria, we know that the Youth Hub will serve as a critical and safe space for young people. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a challenging impact on waitlists for many services, so we’re scaling up to get to those that need us most. “Last year we witnessed thousands of young people hit hard by the pandemic, socially isolated and often the first to have hours cut or laid off work completely. We’ve seen substance use on the rise and considerable wait times for young people to access mental health supports. The demand on our services spiked quicker than we’ve ever experienced at Youth Projects, so we’re scaling up to support those who need us most.” says Ben Vasiliou, CEO of Youth Projects. Demand on our youth-specialist outreach and employment services has experiencing a significant increase in demand over the past 12 months, particularly in our Transition to Work program where more than 500 young people newly commencing into the program residing in Craigieburn and surrounding areas. Emerging from a disastrous year for young people in Melbourne in 2020, the need to create a dedicated hub that enables easier access to critical services and long-term pathways is now more important than ever. “Our vision is to create a hub that not only provides access to high impact services, but also enables greater social connection for young people in a safe and supportive space as well as introducing other agencies into the space so we can become a one-stop-shop for young people in the region.” says Ben Vasiliou, CEO of Youth Projects. The newly opened Youth Hub in Craigieburn enables an increase in one-on-one case management for Youth Projects’ multidisciplinary team, dedicated training spaces for group and social activities and dedicated spaces to increase engagement and employment outcomes for young people in the region. The launch of this new space sees an expansion of Youth Projects’ assertive youth outreach (YHOP), Transition to Work, Disability Employment Services and Employability Skills Training programs, and youth alcohol and other drug counselling services. Future expansion into 2021 will also see co-located services come online to provide additional, wrap-around support services for young people. Youth Projects’ Youth Hub is now open and is located at 18 Hanson Road, Craigieburn (next door to the Craigieburn Plaza). To find out more or chat to one of our youth specialists, please drop us a line. For all media enquiries, please contact Nic Horton.