More support for mental health and education welcomed for young Victorians

headspace the National Youth Mental Health Foundation welcomes the funding from the Victorian State Government to support young Victorians impacted by stage four COVID-19 restrictions now and into the future.

A number of measures have been announced to support the mental health of Victorian school students, especially for VCE students, including funding for more than 1,500 school staff to undergo mental health training in partnership with headspace, helping to identify and support at-risk students.

The State Government has also announced additional funding to strengthen Victoria’s mental health system and boost community health services. This will support the 15 headspace centres in metropolitan Melbourne to proactively reach out to young people who may be struggling under stage four restrictions.

The funding aims to build the capacity of two key systems that support our young people – health and education.

Jason Trethowan CEO of headspace said, “We know that young people across the state need support through this period – not just for the duration of the Stage four restrictions but also into the future.

“This is why it is crucial that any funding helps to build the capacity of systems that young people access. Community mental health services and schools can often be the first point of contact that a young person has with mental health support, and it is crucial that these services are equipped to support that young person.”

Mr Trethowan said that projected recession and unemployment trends resulting from COVID-19 are creating a range of future uncertainties for young people and this will have a profound effect on their mental health.

“We anticipate a range of long-term social and economic impacts on the lives of young people, including here in Victoria. These have the potential to influence young people and their family’s mental health and wellbeing for many years.

“We need to get ahead of these potential long-term impacts by putting measures in place to support the wellbeing of young people. We applaud the Victorian State Government for recognising this, and prioritising young people’s mental health needs to help them get the support they need to get back on track.”

Young people going through a tough time who might need support can contact their local GP, local headspace centre or visit eheadspace.

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