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$47 million for headspace to support youth mental health

The Federal Government has confirmed it will invest a further $47 million to continue to support the mental wellbeing of young Australians through headspace with a new youth mental health ambassadors project and funding for its head office.

The Federal Government is providing $2 million over four years to headspace National to deliver the Young Ambassadors for Mental Health project. Eight young ambassadors with lived experience of mental health will engage with the public on mental health issues through a travelling roadshow, a youth summit, regional youth forums and online activities. They’ll promote mental health literacy, improve how people seek help, support young people’s capacity for self-care, and help destigmatise mental health issues. This important initiative is currently in development in partnership with Orygen, ReachOut, SANE, Mind Australia, Black Dog Institute, Beyondblue, The Butterfly Foundation, Batyr and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia.

Funding of $45 million over three years will also be provided to headspace National, the coordinating agency behind the headspace network of services, to continue to support and build the quality of the network of 108 headspace centres across the country. This investment will allow the organisation to help train mental health professionals and to translate the latest research findings into practical improvements for young people. The funding will also allow headspace National to continue to reduce stigma around mental illness, encourage young people to seek help, and ensure young people who access support through the headspace network get the very best care when and where they need it.

The Government will also be guaranteeing a stable future for headspace centres by expanding the role of headspace National in providing support to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) with commissioning of headspace services throughout Australia.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, said “I am committed to ensuring that Australians can get information, advice, understanding, counselling and treatment, when and where they need it. I want our young people to know they are not alone on their journey, and that headspace is there to deliver quality frontline support and coordinate the right interventions for people who are at risk.”

headspace Chair Lisa Paul said the boost will extend the important early intervention work of headspace around the country and ensure young people’s voices are heard.

“headspace will help approximately 110,000 young people across Australia this year who are experiencing a tough time,” she said.

“With one in three young people (32%) experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress, this investment will help to strengthen our core services to ensure more young people can access support tailored to their needs.”

To read the full press releases, visit these websites: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2019-hunt005.htm and https://headspace.org.au/blog/investment-in-youth-mental-health-ensures-continued-support-for-young-people-across-australia/

For other Gold Coast events and activities visit the Gold Coast Primary Health Network’s website: HealthyGC.com.au

PIR is a Federally funded program. Other consortia members include Gold Coast Health and Mental Health Association QLD