HELP THEM OPEN UP: Tricia and Tasos Barounis   back  a headspace centre for Maryborough.
HELP THEM OPEN UP: Tricia and Tasos Barounis back a headspace centre for Maryborough. Blake Antrobus

NO WARNING: M'boro parents hope headspace will save lives

TRICIA and Tasos Barounis will always remember their son Yanni as a beautiful and caring young boy.

But they never imagined behind his laughter and smiles he had been struggling with his own mental health for some time.

Tragically, the 17-year-old Maryborough teenagers took his own life about five months ago, leaving the Barounis' devastated.

The pair have since become advocates for better mental health services in the region, saying there is a huge stigma that still needs to be broken down about the crisis.

With a new headspace satellite centre being announced for Maryborough, the Barounis' have welcomed it as a step in the right direction to help save kids' lives.

"Nobody wants to go through what we've gone through," Mrs Barounis said.

"It's indescribable pain to lose a child, it's not the way it's supposed to work.

"If we can help someone, then maybe we can make some sense of this nonsensical situation."

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien announced a $1.5 million Federal funding injection for the new centre yesterday, along with "$400,000 immediately to establish the headspace and $380,000 per year over the next three years to maintain it".

Once running, it will provide teenagers and young adults with access to mental health services at little to no cost.

Mr and Mrs Barounis said the centre would allow kids to open up and feel comfortable in their own environment.

"Every child needs to know a few things, they need to know they're not alone and don't need to keep it inside," Mrs Barounis said.

"If this place can help one or two children... it's got to be good.

"Our youth of today is the future of Australia, we need to be there for them."

If you or somebody you know needs assistance phone Lifeline on 131114.


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