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
9 May 2022
New and enhanced mental health services in Bannockburn & Geelong
Young people across Geelong’s North and Bannockburn will have access to additional mental health support and services, with a re-elected Morrison Government committing $6.2 million
to establish new and additional headspaces services in the region.
The headspace program provides free or low-cost youth-friendly services for young people aged 12 to 25. This includes mental health, related physical health, alcohol and other drug use, and social and vocational support.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said young people have been affected significantly by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and access to mental health services and support was more important than ever.
“Young people in Geelong’s north and surrounding regions will have ongoing access to headspace, which provides a welcoming place for professional help and peer support for young people at risk,” Minister Hunt said.
The funding will support a new headspace service in Bannockburn and the upgrade of the Corio satellite service to a headspace centre. This is in addition to the headspace sites in Geelong and Ocean Grove, and the Head to Health adult mental health centre which commenced service delivery late last year.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the headspace network is at the heart of the Government’s vision for youth primary mental health services.
“Our Government has delivered a massive expansion of headspace with 149 services operating across Australia and a further 15 fully funded. This will bring the national total to 164,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“We are also enhancing existing headspace services across the country and increasing the number of staff, to reduce wait times and ensure more young people can access support.”
The new headspace services in Corio and Bannockburn will be commissioned by the Western Victoria Primary Health Network, with the new funding commencing 2022-23. The PHN will consult with the community to determine the exact locations and ensure that the services provide support in a way that meets their needs.
Liberal candidate for Corangamite, Stephanie Asher, said the announcement would be welcomed by many young people, parents and teachers in the region.
“With a focus on early intervention, headspace works with young people at a crucial time in their lives to provide the best possible health care and support, reducing the duration and impact of mental illness and helping them achieve their full potential,” Ms Asher said.
“In establishing a new service in Bannockburn, this recognises the growing needs of both Bannockburn and Inverleigh which are rapidly growing communities. This service will play an important role in helping Corangamite residents in Golden Plains to thrive in the coming years.”
Liberal Candidate for Corio, Manish Patel, said that the Corio headspace centre would significantly boost access to vital health care in the area which is experiencing significant demand for services.
“The headspace centre will meet a significant need for services in Corio and Norlane, which has a large and growing youth population,” Mr Patel said.
Liberal Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson said these investments would attract more mental health professionals to the region, meaning more support for young people.
“During the past 18 months, many teenagers and young adults have struggled. By providing easy access to expert support in a safe and confidential environment, these new headspace services will play an essential role in keeping the young people in our community well,” Senator Henderson said.
“Importantly, our government’s further investments in headspace recognises the high needs of young people in the Corio electorate which have been ignored by Labor.
The Coalition has increased headspace funding by more than 250 per cent since coming to Government, from $56 million in 2012-13 to $204 million in 2021-22, and this is projected to grow even further with more than $870 million being invested into the headspace network over the next four years.
The Morrison Government continues to make mental health and suicide prevention a national priority and continues to drive structural reform and real change to deliver better outcomes for all Australians.
Through the 2021-22 and 2022-23 Budgets, the Government is investing a record $3 billion into the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to drive this reform.
As a result of these investments, funding for mental health and suicide prevention services through the Health portfolio have increased to a record $6.8 billion in 2022-23, more than doubling since 2012-13.
Unlike the Labor Party, which cut mental health funding when last in Government and has not given Australians any detail on their plans for mental health, the Morrison Government will continue to ensure that all 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/).
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).