Home Media Vital youth mental health service back on the road in Loddon and Campaspe

Vital youth mental health service back on the road in Loddon and Campaspe

March 10, 2023


Recognising that it can be hard for young people to find mental health support in rural and regional areas when they really need it, mining company Agnico Eagle has invested in getting a Central Victorian service back on the road.

Keep in Touch, or KIT, is a mobile mental health service available to young people between the ages of 14 and 18 in the Loddon Campaspe region. The KIT van travels to areas where dedicated mental health support is often not available, bringing care and optimism to where it is most needed.

With the demand for mental health support services in Victorian communities still at critical levels, Agnico Eagle has pledged to invest in KIT until mid-2024.

The company’s Director of Environment and Government Relations, Australia, Felicia Binks said:

“Agnico Eagle is immensely proud to support the mobile KIT van, bringing mental health support to young people in the Bendigo and district area. The program provides a wonderful support (mentally, physically and spiritually) to young people in the region.

“Our aim is to have a sustained long term impact with the partner organisations and the lives of the people they support, creating a positive ongoing outcome for the community.”

Tim McCormick, Program Manager of Youth and Community Services at Anglicare Victoria, said the funding from Agnico Eagle gives schools, community groups and local event organisers access to a free mobile service that promotes positive mental health in a relaxed environment without judgement.

“The KIT project has provided support to more than 5000 young people across the Loddon Campaspe region since emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns. In the next year we expect this number could double,” Tim said.

“Thanks to Agnico Eagle, the KIT project has recruited a full-time youth worker and more recently, four KIT youth champions who guide the direction of the project and support the KIT van at events. We’re excited to be able to reach more young people to talk about their mental health more often over the coming year.”

“The formal re-launch of the KIT project will take place between 10.30am-1pm on Thursday 9 March at the Library Gardens in Bendigo. We’d love to see anyone with an interest in youth mental health come along and experience the KIT project first-hand.”

Vicki, 23, said she applied to be a KIT champion because she’s passionate about youth issues and mental health, so the role was a perfect fit for her.

“I love that the KIT project is breaking down the stigma that’s still sometimes associated with mental health in a fun and engaging way. The aim is for young people to feel like they can approach one of the KIT champions with questions or concerns and not feel intimidated about starting the conversation,” said Vicki.

“I’ve now done KIT events at a couple of schools and community events. Concerns about friendships, relationships and isolation are coming up a lot. I’m also finding that the KIT project is the first time many young people have had a conversation about their mental health. I feel like I can really help people in my area by providing detail of where to get more help or with techniques that I find helpful.”

The KIT project was originally created by local young people with a passion for youth wellbeing to reach people like themselves. With ongoing support from the Agnico Eagle Community Partnership Program, the KIT project is providing mental health support to young people in Central Victoria who need it.

To have the KIT team visit your school or community event, please email KIT.Van@anglicarevic.org.au