headspace welcomes $1.1 billion package announced by Government

29/03/2020

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation welcomes the $1.1 billion package announced by the Federal Government today which includes expanded Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians, vital for all young people wanting to access mental health services via headspace during COVID-19. This shift in policy allows headspace to continually innovate with new technology at a time when young people need support under challenging circumstances.

The package also includes the expansion of the headspace Work and Study program for young people by boosting the service with an additional $6.75 million, providing a comprehensive national digital support service for all young Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic and after. headspace Work and Study is a unique digital offering to support those whose work and study activities have been impacted by mental health.

The funding will bolster existing headspace Work and Study services to enable additional support for young people across Australia, especially those who may be slipping through the gaps or experiencing unemployment or under employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly important as many parts of the country are already experiencing the health, social and economic impacts from drought and bushfires.

Jason Trethowan, CEO at headspace says the funding will be particularly beneficial to supporting young people impacted by mental health who’ve experienced displacement or job loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Mental health issues have already been experienced prior to COVID-19 but with the sharp rise in unemployment amongst young people, it’s absolutely critical to have online work and study supports in place not only now but for when we’re through this challenging period.

“This boost to the existing headspace Work and Study program enables us to expand our service for young people to support them to secure work or navigate new study pathways.

“Young people have told us of their concerns relating to COVID-19 and much of this is centred on overcoming rising anxiety levels whilst navigating a new future of work and study pressures. All at a time when their key family and friend relationships are being impacted and loneliness is on the rise. headspace is here for young people to provide practical advice and support and to keep them connected and hopeful.”

“Today’s announcement will also provide many young people with online mentoring support from business and community leaders through the headspace Career Mentoring Program.” Trethowan said.

Damien, 25, from Launceston recently utilised headspace Work and Study and said the service was really helpful in making the process manageable and straightforward.

“The idea of trying to find work seemed quite overwhelming at first but headspace Work and Study gave me a key person I could connect with for help, giving me a sense of hope that we could get through it together. I was able to access the support online from home and my support person helped me through the entire process, breaking things down, exploring my skills and offering guidance at every point from updating my resume to finding jobs and preparing for interviews.

“I strongly feel that this program will be really helpful for those who might be looking for new work or study pathways as a result of COVID-19, particularly when everything settles down.” Damien said.

The headspace Work and Study approach helps young people who are experiencing mental health difficulties and are disengaged from work and study through collaborative models of care. 

For further information, please visit: https://headspace.org.au/our-services/digital-work-and-study-service/

For further information about the full package announced by Government please visit:

https://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2020/03/29/11-billion-support-more-mental-health-medicare-and-domestic-violence-services

 

 

For interview opportunities with headspace CEO, Jason Trethowan, please get in touch with the headspace Media & Communications:

Phone: +61 431 289 886

Email: media@headspace.org.au