Paynters are expected to complete construction on the Cairns Youth Prevention and Recovery Centre (YPARC) mid-March with the final touches being added as we speak.

The facility, which was first announced six years ago, will be the first in Queensland to provide short-term community-based residential care for people aged between 16 and 21.

It will be managed by Sydney-based Aftercare – Australia’s oldest mental health charity – in conjunction with the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital & Health Service (CHHHS).

The centre will have six staff, including medical, allied health, nursing and non-government organisation support workers.

Aftercare General Manager Juliet Middleton, CHHHS Mental Health Services Director Marie Kelly & Cairns MP Michael Healy were on site recently to discuss the progress of the project.

MP Michael Healy spoke about the centre previously being a concern for local residents, but he said he had reassured them that the facility would be staffed 24/7.

The environment will be architecturally designed to feel and look just like home.

With mental health issues affecting people every day, from all walks of life, the far northern community has identified an increasing need for additional youth mental health services. The centre will provide a safe middle ground for young adults without the extremes of trying to cope alone or recovering in an adult mental health facility.