New funding to expand support services for vulnerable young people

New funding to expand support services for vulnerable young people Main Image

By WA State Government

15 November 2022

Perth Inner City Youth Services (PICYS) will expand its PICYS PILLAR program thanks to an additional $344,000 in State Government grant funding announced by Youth Minister Dave Kelly today.

The PICYS PILLAR program provides services to highly vulnerable young people who have experienced homelessness and mental health concerns and other complex high support needs - the majority of young people coming to PICYS PILLAR identify as LGBTIQA+.

Currently core funding for the service, which is provided by the Mental Health Commission and commenced in 2013, enables PICYS to support 15 clients.

The additional Department of Communities grant funding announced today, will enable up to 25 clients to access PICYS PILLAR over the next two years.

PICYS will expand the PILLAR program's capacity to provide individual mental health support services, as well as regular 'Base Camp' drop-in sessions.

PICYS started out in the early 1980s as a collective of agencies that provided support services for inner city youth.

The organisation continues to work with people aged between 15 and 25 who are experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage, or who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

PICYS is a specialist support provider for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning and asexual young people.

Comments attributed to Nedlands MLA Dr Katrina Stratton:

"Coming from a social work and community services background, I have worked with PICYS and Andrew Hall for many years. I'm acutely aware of the demand for services shaped specifically for LGBTIQA+ young people.

"Since becoming Member for Nedlands in 2021 I've been able to continue working with and supporting PICYS.

"I have seen first-hand the outstanding work done by Perth Inner City Youth Services, who are based in my electorate but work across the inner city and surrounding areas."

Comments attributed to Youth Minister Dave Kelly:

"The mental health of young people who identify as LGBTIQA+ is incredibly important.

"LGBTIQA+ young people continue to experience discrimination, bullying, stigmatisation and a lack of appropriate support in the community.

"It's a cohort that is over-represented in incidents of self-harm, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, alcohol and drug use and homelessness.

"LGBTIQA+ young people need good support, appropriate to their specific needs, to ensure their mental and physical health and wellbeing.

"Perth Inner City Youth Services delivers a range of important services in a welcoming and affirming way, and this additional funding will enable them to expand their work in supporting LGBTIQA+ young people to survive and thrive."