Young Australians across the Bellarine in south-west of Melbourne, will now have easier access to mental health services with the opening of a new headspace satellite service this week.
The headspace program aims to improve access for young people aged 12 to 25 years who have, or are at risk of, mental illness. Headspace provides free or low cost youth-friendly support in four key areas—mental health, related physical health, substance misuse, and social and vocational support.
This new headspace service is part of the government’s $111.3 million funding commitment to establish 30 new headspace services.
Health Minister Greg Hunt, says young people have been significantly affected by the impacts of bushfires, floods and Covid-19, and access to mental health services and support was more important than ever.
“Headspace offers a safe, welcoming place where young people can get non-judgmental professional help and peer support and provides quality frontline support, ensuring the best possible care for people who are at risk,” says Mr Hunt.
“Our government is committed to ensuring young Australians can get information, advice, counselling or treatment, when and where they need it.”
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, says mental health and suicide prevention remained one of the government’s highest priorities.
“To date, headspace has provided 3.6 million services to people around Australia, and we are committed to ensuring young Australians can continue to get information, advice, counselling or treatment, when and where they need it,” says Mr Coleman.
“In the 2021-22 Budget, we provided an additional $278.6 million to strengthen the national headspace network by establishing new services and significantly enhancing those that already exist to ensure young people get the support and care they need. This will bring the government’s investments in the headspace network over the next four years to a record $873.2 million.”
Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson says the official opening of the Ocean Grove site will provide localised, tailored support for young people close to home.
“There are more pressures on young people today than ever before and the expansion of headspace will be vitally important in providing additional services for young people in Ocean Grove,” says Ms Henderson.
“We know intervention at the earliest possible stage is important to reduce the duration and impact of mental illness, so I encourage young people in our community to reach out if they need help.
“This support for young people suffering mental health challenges will be very welcome in the Ocean Grove community and across the Bellarine.”
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through headspace: https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/; Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800; Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636; Lifeline: 13 11 14; or the government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health: www.headtohealth.gov.au.