headspace welcomes government’s long term focus on mental health

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation welcomes Minister Hunt’s commitment to mental health and ensuring all Australians can get the help they need regardless of the stage or severity of their mental health condition.  

The Long Term National Health Plan, launched yesterday by Minister Hunt at the National Press Club gathering in Canberra, outlined the proposal for mental health reform and included a commitment to working with states and territories to provide greater integration of mental health services between Federal, State and Territory governments.

Commenting on the announcement today, headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said, “Addressing the gap in services for young people with more severe and complex mental health issues is critical.

“We’re seeing more young people present to headspace with complex mental health issues, resulting in major challenges in managing waiting times in centres. These young people need more specialised, intensive and extended care, and services are not currently effectively linking together to support this group.

“We’re very pleased to learn that addressing this issue is a key long term focus and welcome the opportunity to be part of the discussion on how headspace can work with state and federal government to ensure that young people who require more intensive treatment get the support they need.

“This is a great opportunity for all levels of government to come together to ensure a field of care is available for young people across all stages of mental ill-health.”

Minister Hunt also announced a commitment to the establishment of the Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study, a national multi-year study of more than 60,000 Australians to provide information on both physical and mental health.

“It’s integral to have new data to drive continuous improvements in prevention and early intervention, treatments, coordinated and integrated care, and broader system design,” said Trethowan.

“We welcome the opportunity to gather further and new insight into the 12–25 year old age group, allowing us to continue to evolve and improve the headspace model to ensure it remains impactful for young Australians.”

Minister Hunt also revealed a New Children’s Mental Health Strategy for the 0–12 age group. Led by Professor Frank Oberklaid and Professor Christine Middeldorp, the Strategy will provide a framework to embed protective skills in early childhood, create mentally healthy home environments, support parents, and prevent or treat early childhood trauma.

headspace is encouraged that Labor has welcomed the announcement and will provide bipartisan support to the Government to ensure these plans are properly funded and implemented.  

For media enquiries please contact:
Bronte Tarn-Weir, headspace Media & Communications Manager: 0413 025 385