Federal Budget commits to expansion and enhancement of headspace services to support young people

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation has welcomed Federal Government funding to safeguard the wellbeing of young Australians and support their mental health.

headspace CEO, Jason Trethowan said the Federal Budget acknowledges the strength of headspace as a safe and trusted entry point for young people seeking help.

“The past twelve months have no doubt been some of the most difficult for many young people. It’s not surprising that we’ve seen an increase in need across all parts of the mental health system.

“It’s promising to see more young people reaching out for support but right now, we don’t have the workforce available to meet their needs which is adding pressure to the frontline and stress to families and young people seeking help.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to strengthen workforce and governance arrangements by increasing the number of nurses, psychologists, and allied health practitioners in mental health settings through scholarships and clinical placements.

“The existing network of over 130 headspace services in communities would provide a strong training ground for the future workforce to gain appropriate and safe clinical experience in a youth mental health setting in both metro, regional and remote locations – areas we know are in serious need of experienced clinical workforce.”

Acknowledging the growing number of young people presenting to headspace centres with varying and sometimes more serious needs, headspace welcomes Government’s commitment to work jointly with states and territories to boost clinical capacity at existing headspace services.

“This funding is a recognition of the reality headspace centres face in supporting young people presenting with complex needs and will go some way to addressing this critical system reform priority. We look forward to the National Agreement due in November to include further commitments from state and territory governments, as well as the Commonwealth, to ensure every young person can access the care they need”.

More communities will soon have access to youth mental health services with Government announcing upgrades of existing headspace satellite services in communities and ten new headspace centres to grow the headspace network to 164 locations and support more young people closer to home.

“We stand ready to provide more young people a place they can turn to for youth friendly and inclusive mental health services in more regional and metro locations.

“The commitments from Government outlined tonight will go a long way to address capacity issues at headspace centres, bolster the workforce long term and expand services in communities under strain to ensure young people who need it can access help.

“We know increased investment in early intervention is key to supporting young people’s mental health. We commend the Federal Government for its continued commitment to mental health in Australia and their trust in headspace as a safe and inclusive space for all young people,” Trethowan said.

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