The Morrison Government will establish a new headspace service in Caloundra to provide vital mental health support for young people in the region.
headspace is the Federal Government’s flagship health programme offering highly effective free or low-cost support to young people who are struggling with issues related to mental health, physical and sexual health, work and study, and alcohol and other drugs. Services are co-designed with and for young people to ensure that they are relevant, accessible, and delivered in a safe, confidential, and youth-friendly environment.
The new centre is funded in the 2021-22 Budget as part of $278.6 million to strengthen, enhance and expand the national headspace network. Community consultation, service procurement and detailed planning will commence shortly to ensure that the service reflects the needs of the local community.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said young people have been affected significantly by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and access to mental health services and support was more important than ever.
“We know that the pandemic and the measures taken to contain it have been incredibly difficult and stressful for many Australians, and particularly younger Australians. That is why we are prioritising mental health support, ensuring that young people have access to care to help them recover and thrive as we reopen the country,” Minister Hunt said.
It is estimated that one in four people aged 16 to 24 experience some form of mental illness every year and that 75 per cent of mental health issues developing before the age of 25.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the headspace network is at the heart of the Federal Government’s vision for youth primary mental health services.
“With a focus on early intervention, headspace works with young people at a crucial time in their lives to provide the best possible health care and support, reducing the duration and impact of mental illness and helping them achieve their full potential,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“We know that headspace is recognised by young people, their families and communities as a trusted source of care and that many communities are in need of more support to help them recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the next four years, the Government is investing a record $873.2 million in the national headspace network to establish more centres, improve existing sites, deliver more mental health services, and reduce wait times for access to mental health care.”
Federal Member for Fisher and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Andrew Wallace, said that the new centre will be a vital resource for the young people of Caloundra and surrounding areas, and is another example of the Federal Government boosting access to mental health services.
“The last few years have shown us how important it is to look after our mental health. I have made funding and expanding mental health services – particularly for young people, veterans and first responders – one of my priorities at a local level on the Sunshine Coast and at a national level. With its accessible and confidential mental health services, this new headspace centre will play an essential role in keeping young people in our community safe and well.”
Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN Chief Executive Officer Pattie Hudson said that supporting youth mental health services like headspace was an important priority for the PHN.
“This service is vital in assisting young people to make informed supported decisions during their developmental years and strengthen their ability to manage their own physical and mental health needs in the future. I am extremely pleased that this much needed service will be available for young people in the Caloundra region, providing tailored and holistic mental health and wellbeing support at a crucial time in their lives, close to home.”
The new centres will be established in a phased approach over four years as part of the largest ever expansion of the headspace network, taking the number of headspace services to 164 by 2025-26, up from just 56 in 2013.
The Morrison Government continues to make mental health a national priority, investing almost $3 billion in new funding in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 Budgets for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for landmark reform of the mental health system.