headspace congratulates the Government on its mental health announcement

Statement from Chris Tanti, CEO, headspace

The Prime Minister's announcement today regarding a proposed comprehensive package of measures to tackle suicide and promote better mental health will make a significant impact on the lives of many Australians, particularly young people and those at risk of taking their own lives.

Early intervention is crucial in reducing the impact of mental illness and drug and alcohol use by young people in  Australia, and the Government's proposed $227 million investment in mental health and wellbeing support, information and services will go some of the way to addressing these issues.

Suicide rates amongst young people in Australia have reached appalling levels - men and women aged between 15 and 24 are in the highest risk brackets when it comes to suicide. And if someone is Indigenous or same-sex attracted the risk increases fourfold. We are in danger of losing a generation of young people if we don't deal effectively with this crisis in our community.
The new measures proposed by the Federal Government are an important step towards dealing with the difficulties being experienced by our sons and daughters. But, this requires continued investment and our constant vigilance.

We also applaud the announcement regarding $22.3 million to boost online mental health and counselling services. 

headspace runs a Federally-funded pilot online counselling service in Western Australia - eheadspace - that provides young people with access to support if they are unable to uncertain about face-to-face mental health support.

eheadspace complements the existing services offered by our 30 headspace centres by providing flexible access and support options to young people where services may be unavailable or non-existent.  Expansion of online counselling services such as eheadspace will ensure young people have access to confidential, free, anonymous, secure spaces both online and offline and meets the changing expectations of young people in how services and support should be delivered.

headspace media contact:
Briony Walker
Communications Manager
Tel +61 3 9027 0112  
Mob 0402 399 746