YOUNG Novocastrians shared their thoughts with Mental Health Minister Mark Butler this week ahead of the opening of a new youth service in the city.
An informal discussion between about 15 teenagers and Mr Butler at The Loft youth venue raised matters such as the location of a new Headspace centre, the services it would offer and how it would be financed.
The federal government plans to open a Headspace youth mental health service in Newcastle to support young people dealing with depression, substance abuse and other mental health matters.
About $200 million is being spent to establish 90 Headspace sites across the country, with some centres, including one at Maitland, already operating.
A search is under way for a building in Newcastle.
Mr Butler said mental health problems often emerged early in life.
"If you're serious about helping people out early, you've got to intervene . . . when you're in your late-teens and early 20s," he said.