headspace is now the largest provider of youth mental health care across Australia.
Since 2006, headspace has achieved transformative change in the Australian mental health care system through an increasingly integrated national platform of services. headspace has provided nearly 3 million services and supported more than 520,000 young Australians to strengthen their wellbeing and manage their mental health; in 2018–19 alone, headspace supported over 130,000 young people.
headspace centres are the foundation of the platform, comprising highly accessible, youth-friendly, integrated service hubs that provide evidence-based interventions across the core streams of mental health, alcohol and other drugs, physical health, and vocational support services. The headspace platform has been and will be enhanced by a growing range of other services that extend the initiative across the entire spectrum of interventions for youth mental health, including eheadspace (online and webchat), programs that work across schools, work and study support, early psychosis and telehealth services.
Now into its second decade, the platform is ready to take the next steps to deliver a truly integrated stepped and continuing care system that meets the needs of young people and their families and communities. headspace continues to develop community awareness and engagement approaches, school-based prevention, online innovations, enhanced data collection, and strategies to support all young Australians as well as specific strategies for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, Culturally and Linguistically young people and young people who identify as LGBTQIA+.
This progress is, however, contingent on effective ways to address challenges. Understanding the significant variation in the characteristics of young people accessing the different headspace services is vital in understanding the future direction of headspace and adapting to emerging challenges.
While impact and outcomes are challenging to capture, data is revealing the successes of the headspace initiative and how the headspace platform can be leveraged to address the ongoing unmet needs of young people seeking to access help across Australia.
You can learn more about Jason Trethowan’s presentation“Achievements and challenges from the second decade of the headspace implementation” here.