The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP
Treasurer of Australia
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
18 May 2022
Delivering more health professionals in headspace
The Morrison Government will invest a further $20.8 million in headspace to boost clinical capacity and help meet increased demand for mental health support services from young people.
The funding will extend the Early Career Program which supports psychology, social work and occupational therapy graduates and students to complete placements in headspace services across Australia – helping to ensure that more young people can access support when they need it.
It builds on the $22.6 million announced as part of the historic $2.3 billion Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan in the 2021-22 Budget and brings total funding for the initiative to $43.4 million over four years from 2021-22.
The first graduates and students supported by this initiative commenced in early 2022. The new investment will extend the program until 31 December 2024, allowing up to an additional 45 graduates and 400 students to work in up to 58 headspace services nationally. This will result in a total of 95 graduates and 700 students completing placements across the life of the program.
Additionally, the funding will enable approximately 46 FTE Clinical Educators to be engaged across headspace services and headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation to support implementation of the initiative and ensure graduates and students receive appropriate clinical supervision and access to professional training.
Treasurer of Australia, Josh Frydenberg, said headspace had helped thousands of young people get vital help and support, at little or low cost.
“headspace is recognised by young people, their families and communities as a trusted source of care and has played a vital role in ensuring young Australians are supported and continue to receive support during these challenging times.”
“This funding will create more youth mental health jobs and provide opportunities for young professionals to experience the benefits of working for headspace. The additional clinical workforce in centres will also mean that more young people will get faster access to the services and support they need.”
“Our Government continues to provide record funding for mental health, and headspace in particular. In 2021-22 we provided $263.1 million for headspace, up from just $56 million in 2012-13. As a result, headspace now supports almost twice as many young Australians – more than 120,000 – each and every year.
“Importantly, most headspace services are free, so this investment is helping Australian families save on the costs of essential health care.”
Participating headspaces include a range of metropolitan, rural, and remote services in Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia, with further tranches to expand into other jurisdictions. The program also covers headspace’s digital support (eheadspace and headspace Digital Work and Study).
Students and graduates will be supported to undertake at least one placement outside metropolitan areas, and the program has a target of five per cent of placements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates to ensure that culturally appropriate care is available.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said headspace provided holistic support and a key focus for Government was ensuring the right workforce was in place.
“In addition to mental health care, headspace also provides support to young Australians dealing with physical health and sexual health, alcohol and drug use, and work and study challenges.”
“GPs are an essential part of delivering this holistic model of care and the 2022-23 Budget also includes $4.2 million to enable headspace services in regional, rural and remote areas to attract and employ GPs.”
“These investments help deliver on the integrated, comprehensive, and person-centred mental health system envisioned by our almost $3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan,” Minister Hunt said.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman MP, said that this investment was an important part of the Morrison Government’s expansion of the headspace network which is ensuring that young people can access services wherever they live.
“The Morrison Government is backing in headspace, investing more than $870 million over the next four years. We are also undertaking the largest ever expansion of the network by establishing more than 50 new headspace services, bringing the total number to 164 nationally by 2025-26.”
“We are also bolstering headspace’s presence online and in schools. This includes through $14.3 million in the 2022-23 Budget to continue the Flying headspace, headspace Schools Suicide Prevention Activities (SSPA), and the headspace Digital Work and Study Programs.”
“We are also providing an additional $20.3 million over four years from 2021-22 for eheadspace to ensure that young people unable to attend a headspace service can access free, telephone and web-based support,”
“Collectively, these unprecedented investments are protecting and saving lives by ensuring that young people can receive the help, support and care where and when they need it,” said Assistant Minister Coleman.
The additional funding for the Digital Work and Study Program will allow more than 1,850 young people to get flexible and easily accessible work and study support, which is particularly crucial following the recent disruptions to education and training.
Funding for the SSPA will allow headspace to offer more than one thousand sessions to over 50,000 students and their parents or carers. These will be delivered to 200 schools across the country, with a particular focus on rural and regional areas.
The Morrison Government has made mental health and suicide prevention a national priority, providing almost $3 billion for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan – the largest Commonwealth investment in mental health and suicide prevention in Australia’s history – and more than doubling Health portfolio funding for mental health from $3.3 billion in 2012-13 to an estimated $6.8 billion in 2022-23.
This is in stark contrast to the Labor Party, who cut mental health funding when last in Government and has not given Australians any detail on their plans for mental health in the future.
The headspace network is at the heart of the Government’s vision for ensuring young people can access expert health care in a safe, confidential and youth-friendly environment. Young Australians needing support can access free services through their local headspace or online through eheadspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/).
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).