headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation welcomes the $1.1 billion package announced by the Federal Government today which includes expanded Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians, vital for all young people wanting to access mental health services via headspace during COVID-19. This shift in policy allows headspace to continually innovate with new technology at a time when young people need support under challenges circumstances.
The package also includes the expansion of the headspace Work and Study program for young people by boosting the service with an additional $6.75 million, providing a comprehensive national digital support service for all young Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic and after. headspace Work and Study is a unique digital offering to support those whose work and study activities have been impacted by mental health.
The funding will bolster existing headspace Work and Study services to enable additional support for young people across Australia, especially those who may be slipping through the gaps or experiencing unemployment or under employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly important as many parts of the country are already experiencing the health, social and economic impacts from drought and bushfires.
Jason Trethowan, CEO at headspace says the funding will be particularly beneficial to supporting young people impacted by mental health who’ve experienced displacement or job loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mental health issues have already been experienced prior to COVID-19 but with the sharp rise in unemployment amongst young people, it’s absolutely critical to have online work and study supports in place not only now but for when we’re through this challenging period.
“This boost to the existing headspace Work and Study program enables us to expand our service for young people to support them to secure work or navigate new study pathways.
“Young people have told us of their concerns relating to COVID-19 and much of this is centred on overcoming rising anxiety levels whilst navigating a new future of work and study pressures. All at a time when their key family and friend relationships are being impacted and loneliness is on the rise. headspace is here for young people to provide practical advice and support and to keep them connected and hopeful.”
“Today’s announcement will also provide many young people with online mentoring support from business and community leaders through the headspace Career Mentoring Program.” Trethowan said.
Damien, 25, from Launceston recently utilised headspace Work and Study and said the service was really helpful in making the process manageable and straightforward.