More young people in the Central West region will be able to access mental health services when they need them, with headspace Dubbo to share in more than $1.9 million in Federal Government funding.
Federal Member for Parkes and Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton welcomed the grant, which he said will be used by Western NSW Primary Health Network to employ two youth advocates (peer workers) for Dubbo’s headspace centre.
“headspace Dubbo has been experiencing high demand for services, and this funding will help them expand their service, reduce wait times and develop a sustainable peer workforce,” Mr Coulton said.
“As a result, young people across the region will have improved access to high quality, youth-friendly mental health support.”
Two youth advocates will also be employed in the Orange and Bathurst headspace centres.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said one in four young Australians are affected by a mental illness every year.
“Many young people have also been substantially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, making it more important than ever to ensure access to youth mental health services,” Minister Hunt said.
“The funding reinforces our Government’s strong commitment to achieving better mental health for all Australians and will complement our record investment of $6.5 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services in 2021-22.”Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention David Coleman said headspace provides free or low cost youth-friendly support in four key areas, mental health, related physical health, substance misuse, and social and vocational support.
“headspace offers a safe, welcoming place where young people can get non-judgmental professional help and peer support, so they can tackle their challenges in a way that is right for them,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
The funding is part of the Government’s $152 million investment in the headspace Demand Management and Enhancement Program, to reduce wait times and make capital improvements.
Over the next four years from 2021-22, the Government is investing $873.2 million in the national headspace network, this includes $758.2 million for the establishment of new services ongoing service delivery and enhancement of existing services.
The Government continues to make mental health a national priority and provided a record $2.3 billion in the 2021-22 Budget for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform of the mental health system.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through headspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), Lifeline (13 11 14), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).