What is it?
The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (the Health Service) has secured $6 million to fund a new Youth Prevention and Recovery Centre (YPARC). A YPARC is a community based residential care facility for people aged between 16 and 21 who require additional support for mental health issues and would otherwise be at home.
Where is it planned for?
The location is underconsideration at 39 Law Street, North Cairns, which is located at the northern end of the street. While currently unused, this site was most recently leased to a local business for use as a timber yard.
What will it look like?
It is anticipated that the centre will be a one story building, with two wings and a central living area and landscaping. The YPARC will look much like any other home and provide separate individual areas for young men and women, with a common kitchen, dining and living area in the centre.
What about consultation?
The Health Service has consulted residents with properties near the site. Consultation and communication with local residents and businesses will continue through the stages of the project.
Who will go there?
The YPARC model provides for people aged between 16 and 21 who require additional support for mental health issues. It is designed for people who would otherwise be at home and may be working through issues such as bullying, family breakup, trauma, mental ill health and abuse.
How long will they stay?
It is expected the average stay will be between 14 and 28 days, though there will always be exceptions to this. Some people will stay only two or three days, others may stay up to three months. Each case will be managed individually and reviews will be undertaken at the appropriate time by qualified health professionals.
Why is it in a residential area?
It needs to be easily accessible by the community and part of the community – a critical step in the recovery process. This type of early intervention care centre can only be in a suburban area. The Law Street site is also close to the other facilities that will provide support to the centre like Community Health and Cairns Hospital.
What are the risks for my home and family?
It is important to be aware that this is not a drug rehabilitation facility, a high security ward, a child safety residential service nor a young offender service. People with a mental illness are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. All Queensland Government properties are subject to a Code of Conduct which prohibits the use of alcohol and drugs, including tobacco. Staff will be equipped to manage any situations that do escalate, with the support of the Police, Ambulance Service and Queensland Health’s own Acute Care Team.
What effect will this have on my neighbourhood?
Initially, there will be additional noise and traffic during the construction period. Long term, the traffic, noise and light impacts will be minimal. Services and activities will mostly occur in normal daylight hours. Any additional lighting will be consistent with the lighting that is in the area already. The YPARC will be architecturally designed and purpose built to have the least possible impact on the surrounding area. It will be a landscaped, fenced, single-storey dwelling.