THE situation where children are waiting a year for counselling to counter the damage done by family violence is of great concern.
Reports of family violence have increased across our region — just as they have in other parts of Victoria and the rest of Australia.
And that means there is greater demand for public counselling services for the young whose families are torn by violence and other problems such as poverty, bullying and mental-health issues.
Counselling might be part of other programs but these are often unavailable to the needy because of the way they are funded or because they operate in the private sector and are too expensive.
It is vital that the most vulnerable have access to counselling without having a long wait.
Without early counselling, the threat of long-term damage escalates.
Without early intervention, it is likely a pattern of behaviour establishes that is passed on to the next generation.
Headspace, which opens in October, clearly is part of the part answer to address the issues facing our young.
Our MPs would also do well to look at this issue in the run-up to this year’s Victorian election.