STRUGGLING youth in Hume have been given new hope with the launch of a free counselling service.
The service, announced by Hume Council in May last year, will finally come to fruition with its launch in Broadmeadows on Thursday.
The service will give people aged 12-24 who live, work or attend school in Hume access to free counselling.
Last year, the council allocated $200,000 in its budget to set up the service and employ two youth counsellors.
The program is part of the council's recently adopted Hume Youth Strategy 2011-14 and also a review into shaping youth services in Hume.
The service will also operate in Roxburgh Park, Sunbury and Craigieburn.
Council city infrastructure director Steve Crawley says it will support people who have trouble at school or with the law, who are unemployed or with workplace issues, facing homelessness or are drug or alcohol-dependent.
"It will also provide family and relationship support, assist those who may be subjected to violence, who show self-harming behaviour or who have issues with their sexuality," he said.
"The service will comprise short-term counselling and support but will not 'treat' disorders in young people, instead supporting them, their families and friends in moving forward."
Counsellor Emily Aylett, who will work in all the suburbs, says she's looking forward to working with younger people.
"It will be quite challenging, but it will keep me learning all the time and I'll get a chance to try and help people who haven't opened up to anyone else before," she said.
"I think a lot of young people feel alone and a lot of them are depressed or sad. Whether they call it depression or not, they can be unhappy for a variety of reasons."
Counsellors will be based at the youth centres in each suburbs but are able to meet young people where they feel most comfortable.
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