The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. David Coleman MP
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Senator the Hon. Sarah Henderson
Liberal Senator for Victoria
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
4 March 2022
Young people across the Bellarine will now have easier access to mental health services with the official opening of a new headspace satellite today.
The headspace network is at the heart of the Morrison Government’s vision for youth primary mental health services. This service will allow young people in the Ocean Grove region to access vital mental health services.
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.
The headspace program aims to improve access for young people aged 12 to 25 years who have, or are at risk of, mental illness. 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.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the new service is part of the Morrison Government’s $111.3 million commitment to establish 30 new headspace services across the country.
“We know that the pandemic and the measures taken to contain it have been incredibly difficult and stressful for many Australians, and particularly younger Australians,” Minister Hunt said.
“That is why we are prioritising mental health support, ensuring that young people have access to care that can help them recover and reach their full potential as we reopen the country.”
Over the next four years, the Morrison Government is investing $873.2 million in headspace, bolstering capacity to reduce wait times, and undertaking the single largest expansion of the network to deliver 164 services by 2025-26.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said mental health and suicide prevention remained one of the Morrison Government’s highest priorities.
“headspace is recognised by young people, their families and communities as a trusted source of care and has played a vital role in ensuring that young Australians have been able to continue to receive support during this extraordinary time,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“To date, headspace has provided 4.4 million services to people around Australia, and we are committed to ensuring young Australians can continue to get information, advice, counselling, or treatment, when and where they need it.
Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, said the official opening of the Ocean Grove site will provide localised, tailored support for young people close to home.
“There are more pressures on young people today than ever before and the expansion of headspace will be vitally important in providing additional services for young people in Ocean Grove,” Senator Henderson said.
“We know intervention at the earliest possible stage is important to reduce the duration and impact of mental illness, so I encourage young people in our community to reach out if they need help.”
This headspace satellite service has been commissioned by the Western Victoria Primary Health Network and is located at 78 Presidents Avenue, Ocean Grove.
The Morrison Government continues to make mental health a national priority, investing 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.
This brings the Health portfolio expenditure in mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2021–22 to a record high of $6.5 billion.
Unlike the Labor Party, which has not given Australians any detail on their plans for mental health, the Morrison Government will continue to ensure that young Australians can access information, advice, counselling, or treatment, when and where they need it.
Young Australians needing support can access free services through their local headspace or online through eheadspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/).
Australians looking for support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service any time via telephone at 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).