headspace welcomes federal investment in early career youth mental health workforce

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation welcomes the announcement of $20.8 million to extend the headspace Early Career Program until the end of 2024.

The funding announcement from the 2022-23 Budget will extend the initiative, which forms part of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

The headspace Early Career Program supports Psychology, Social Work and Occupational Therapy graduates and students to work in headspace services.

headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said the additional funds make it possible to place more early career professionals in headspace centres around Australia, aiding young people in need.

“We know recruiting and retaining mental health workers can be challenging, especially in regional and rural areas,” Trethowan said.

“That’s why we need initiatives like the headspace Early Career Program that puts new graduates and student clinicians into communities where they’re needed most.

“Not only does the program shore up the future of the youth mental health workforce, it also means headspace centres have more capacity to respond to demand for their services.

“That support is more important now than ever before.

“The graduates and students are supported every step of the way by a team of clinical educators, helping them become highly-skilled mental health professionals now and into the future.

“headspace is incredibly grateful for this commitment to the health and wellbeing of young people, and those who support them.”

Young people, their families and friends who need support can visit their closest headspace centre. Support is also available via phone and online counselling service eheadspace seven days a week between 9am – 1am (AEST). The number is 1800 650 890.

If you’re looking for someone to talk to immediately, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) are available to talk 24/7.