17 January 2019

Fighting for major headspace investment on the Bellarine

I have today joined with Bellarine Community Health (BCH) to launch a campaign for a new stand-alone headspace facility for the Bellarine. 

The limited headspace service being provided by BCH in Drysdale as part of Geelong headspace, supported by federal funding from the Western Victoria Primary Healthcare Network (PHN), is extremely valuable.  BCH also provide a number of other youth health services.

However, with the population growth across the Bellarine Peninsula, a stand-alone headspace facility is required.

Suicide is the leading cause of death of young people in Australia, accounting for one-third of all deaths.

In the years 2014-16 in the Corangamite electorate, there were 53 deaths due to suicide. This is an alarming figure and devastating for local families and communities directly impacted by this terrible loss of life. Over recent months, a number of young people have suicided in the region which has been just tragic.

I welcome the Liberal National Government’s announcement today that a record $1.45 billion will be delivered for community mental health services over the next three years.

This funding will be provided through our government’s innovative 30 PHNs with the Western Victoria PHN to receive an estimated $37 million over three years. This massive boost in funding will deliver services tailored to the specific needs of our region.

It is estimated that one in five people in Australia experience a common mental disorder each year. Nearly half of the Australian population will experience mental illness at some point in their lives, but less than half will access treatment.

PHNs coordinate local support for child and youth mental health, psychological therapy, severe and complex illness, community-based suicide prevention and Indigenous mental health.

In 2017–18, about 200,000 Australians accessed over 900,000 mental health services through local providers commissioned by PHNs.

I am lobbying hard to ensure that some of the funding provided to the Western Victoria PHN will support a new headspace for the Bellarine, located centrally in Ocean Grove.

The Australian Government is providing $3 million to BCH for its new allied health services in Point Lonsdale. Along with a headspace facility, there is also a strong case for expanded community health services for Ocean Grove and other parts of the Bellarine.

As part of our headspace campaign, I will be holding a youth mental health forum, supported by various experts, and asking for direct feedback as to the most effective ways to support young people suffering mental health challenges. The forum will be held at:

  • Shell Rd Reserve Pavilion, Shell Rd Ocean Grove on Wednesday 6 March 2019 from 6:00pm-7:00pm.

This is such a big issue. As a community, we must do all we can to combat mental illness. I welcome any suggestions, ideas or feedback on how governments at all levels can do a better job at supporting young people during what can be a very vulnerable time in their lives.

The record three year $1.45 billion funding commitment will commence from July this year until 2021-22 and is $170 million more than what was provided for the previous three years.

It will continue to support important services such as headspace centres, psychological services for hard to reach groups, suicide prevention activities, mental health nurses and mental health support for older Australians.

It is estimated that the $1.45 billion funding includes:

  • $177 million for mental health nurses
  • $77 million for suicide prevention including Indigenous suicide
  • $74 million for the mental health of those in residential aged care
  • $89 million for Indigenous mental health
  • $617 million for youth mental health including headspace
  • $399 million for psychological therapies for hard to reach populations

The Liberal National Government has prioritised better mental health for all Australians with $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year.

The Government’s strong economic management ensures continued investment of record funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.


17 January 2019



Media Contact:


Sarah Henderson MP: Julia Millard, 0458 828 224