Young people in North-West Tasmania will have better access to mental health support, with the Australian Government investing more than $3.5 million to expand headspace Devonport.
Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck and Braddon MP Gavin Pearce today welcomed the announcement that Cornerstone Youth Services had been selected to help deliver headspace services in the area.
The expansion of the Devonport centre will mean young people aged 12 to 25 could access headspace services in every region of the state.
“We want to ensure that Tasmanians can get information, advice, understanding, counselling and treatment, when and where they need it,” Minister Colbeck said.
As part of the package, The Tasmania Primary Health Network will receive $750,000 to upgrade the current Devonport satellite headspace centre and then $912,000 per annum for service delivery.
“Our investment will enable it to become a fully-fledged headspace centre in mid-2020, and the existing satellite will be transferred to Burnie,” Minister Colbeck said.
“These services will take the pressure off the existing Devonport satellite service and help reduce waiting times.”
Mr Pearce said research showed one in four young people in the region faced mental health challenges.
“That’s an alarming statistic and why the expansion of headspace services on the North-West Coast is so important,” Mr Pearce said.
“Young people recover best, or learn life-long coping strategies, when they can access the help they need, when they need it and where they need it. Local access is the key to that.”
headspace Launceston will also receive an additional $630,000 to provide extra clinical services, including psychological and group interventions and family counselling, and other activities to improve services for young people.
“The sooner we can help young people tackle mental health challenges, the sooner they can reach their full potential,” Minister Colbeck said.
“The Government committed $467.0 million in the 2019-20 Budget for youth mental health and suicide prevention across Australia, including in the North-West.
“We want young people to know they are not alone on their journey, and that we’re backing them through quality frontline support.”