First enhanced headspace service launches

The first of nine enhanced headspace services was officially launched in Southern Melbourne today by the Federal Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler.

The launch comes after last month's announcement by the Australian Government that early psychosis intervention services, based on the EPPIC model, will be delivered through the expansion of headspace.

The first enhanced headspace service will operate in the Southern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne, commencing immediately with specialist staff within the Elsternwick headspace centre and focussing on the inner south.

The service will be scaled up within the next year to also include enhanced clinical services at other headspace centres in the region, including Dandenong and Frankston.

Chris Tanti, headspace CEO, said broadening the services of headspace means young people and their families will get the support they need, regardless of the mental health issues the young person faces.

"The expansion provides a single front door for young people through headspace, a service young people already recognise and trust as an accessible and safe place to get help for their problems."

"It's about creating a co-ordinated and integrated safety net, no matter what the mental health problem, so that no young person falls through the gaps," said Mr Tanti.

Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler said headspace has a proven track record in youth mental health, having supported almost 100,000 young Australians since 2006.

"The Federal Government is providing funding to allow headspace to broaden their service offering to deliver nine early psychosis youth services across all states and territories to support young people with more complex mental illnesses."

Alfred Health, the current lead agency for headspace Elsternwick, will lead the delivery of these services in the Southern Melbourne region.

"Along with the strong clinical capability of Alfred Health, the headspace centre in Elsternwick already has the links in with schools and community services that will provide the educational, social and economic support required to help a young person's care and recovery," said Mr Tanti.

Associate Professor Simon Stafrace - Director of Psychiatry Alfred Health said headspace Elsternwick are excited to lead the establishment of the early psychosis youth services in South-East Melbourne.

"We believe that the initiative will build upon our achievements and those of our consortium partners since we opened our doors in 2007."

"We're looking forward to making a difference to the lives of young people with early psychosis and to the families that care for them," said Associate Professor Stafrace.

Chris Tanti said that state and territory Governments already play a pivotal role in the headspace model and that role will be continue to be strengthened as the new services are rolled out over the next three years.

"We're committed to enhancing the partnerships with state and territory Governments as well as the mental health and youth sectors to get the best outcomes for young people," said Mr Tanti.

headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, providing support to 12-25 year olds through a national network of headspace centres and an online and telephone counselling service.


headspace media contact:

Carly Wright
0413 025 385