Photo: Mr Joyce, pictured with the headspace badge, said the funding will greatly assist youth mental health services across the region.
Mental health care for young Australians is set for a $51.8 million funding boost and regionally-based youth across the New England are among the beneficiaries.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Federal Liberal-National Government’s extra investment in the national network of headspace centres and the digital portal, eheadspace, means young people will have access to around 14,000 additional services nationally, shorter wait times and extra clinical staff.
“We want young people to know they are not alone on their journey, and that we’re backing quality frontline support especially in rural and regional areas like the New England,” Mr Joyce said.
“Just recently headspace outreach services expanded to include Armidale, Gunnedah, Moree and Narrabri, in addition to its Tamworth centre. This funding will greatly enhance delivery at those centres.
“Our support for headspace gives young Australians in the New England a single entry point to friendly primary care that includes early intervention services and support for physical and mental wellbeing.”
Around 560,000 children and adolescents are estimated to have mental illness, and one in four young Australians experience it in any given year.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Government understands the huge mental health challenge facing many Australians, particularly young Australians.
“We’re committed to ensuring that Australians can get information, advice, understanding, counselling and treatment, when and where they need it,” Minster Hunt said. “The additional investment is on top of the $95.7 million per year we have already committed to the 107 headspace centres running across the country.”
headspace has increased the number of services it delivers from around 259,000 in 2014/15 to around 382,000 in 2017/18. Last year, approximately 33,800 young people accessed eheadspace.
“With an unprecedented $4.7 billion investment being made in mental health this year alone, our funding boost will help headspace meet the increasing demands for their services, today and in coming years,” Minister Hunt said.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit headspace.org.au or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.