JMR with Minister Hunt and Minister Coleman:

Young people in Ballarat will have faster, higher quality mental health support with a $493,000 upgrade to the Ballarat headspace service centre.

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the Ballarat headspace service is a vital community service targeted by a $26 million national investment to ensure that young people can access mental health services where they need them and when they need them.

“Headspace Ballarat has been experiencing high demand for services and this funding will help them expand its services and improve access to high quality, youth friendly and mental health support,” Senator Henderson said.

“This grant will enable the team at headspace to relocate their facility in Camp St, Ballarat to a brand new larger facility in the process of planning with new consulting rooms, enabling double the amount of young people to access the service more quickly.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said 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,” Minister Hunt said.

“The funding reinforces our Government’s strong commitment achieving better mental health for all Australians and will complement our record investment of $6.5 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services in 2021-22.”

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said 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.

“headspace offers a safe, welcoming place where young people can get non-judgmental professional help and peer support, so they can tackle their challenges in a way that is right for them,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.

40 headspaces services located in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory will benefit from grants of up to $1.8 million each.

The grants are part of the Government’s $152 million investment in the headspace Demand Management and Enhancement Program, to reduce wait times and make capital improvements.

Over the next four years from 2021-22, the Government is investing $873.2 million in the national headspace network, this includes $758.2 million for the establishment of new services ongoing service delivery and enhancement of existing services.

The Government continues to make mental health a national priority, and provided 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. Based on the principles of Prevention, Compassion and Care, the Plan will ensure that high quality, person-centred care is available to all Australians, regardless of where they live.

Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through headspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), Lifeline (13 11 14), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).

19 June 2021