New headspace centres will help more young people and their families

headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, believes the 10 new headspace centres, announced today by the Federal Government and headspace, will make a difference to the lives of thousands of young people and their families.

The new centres are part of the $78 million funding package for headspace announced in the May Federal Budget. The first raft of those centres will be located in areas of high need. These are:

  • New South Wales Parramatta (Sydney), Shoalhaven
  • Victoria  Bendigo, Collingwood (Melbourne)
  • South Australia Noarlunga 
  • Queensland  Inala (Brisbane South), Nundah (Brisbane North), Cairns
  • Tasmania  Hobart
  • Western Australia Perth.

These centres will be operational within the next 12 months and will bring the total number of headspace centres to 40.

headspace CEO Chris Tanti said the new centres will extend the organisation's important early intervention work with young people into new regions that desperately need support.

"Early, effective intervention, targeting young people aged 12 to 25 years, is a national priority and headspace is helping to make this happen through our centres," Mr Tanti said.

"We currently have a situation where suicide rates in this country amongst young people have reached appalling levels. The continued growth in organisations such as headspace may go some of the way to addressing the difficulties being experienced by our sons and daughters, but it requires continued investment and our constant vigilance."

The new headspace locations were selected based on a range of indicators, such as unmet community need, population size and impact on young people.

"There will be new centres in key metropolitan or large regional centres that until now have not been serviced by headspace. One of the 10 new centres will be in Cairns, which has a high indigenous population (9.1 per cent), with more than 43 per cent of that group aged between 15 and 24. headspace has proven experience in effectively working with indigenous young people within their communities.

"It's also important that we have been able to establish a second headspace centre in Tasmania (Hobart) to build on the great work already being undertaken by our existing centre in Launceston," Mr Tanti said.

"Tasmania has the highest rate of suicide amongst young women and the second highest for young men in Australia, so adding additional support for young people in that region is only going to have positive effects for them and their friends and families."

headspace also identified regional areas that urgently need youth mental health services, such as Bendigo, Noarlunga and Shoalhaven. Noarlunga was ranked by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as the second largest growth region in South Australia and Bendigo the third in Victoria, and as a result they require a range of new and expanding health services, including youth mental health. These two regional centres, as well as Shoalhaven, are recognised by the Federal and state governments as growth corridors.

headspace will also further extend its reach in high population areas, with new centres in Collingwood (Melbourne) and Parramatta (Sydney).

"Collingwood fills a gap for headspace in the inner eastern suburbs of Melbourne, while Parramatta has developed into a major population centre in the west of Sydney," Mr Tanti said.

"The establishment of two centres in Brisbane gives headspace a presence in that capital city for the first time. That city is the largest growth area in Queensland, while the state itself has the highest rate of suicides amongst young men in the country.

Planning is currently underway for the locations of up to a further 20 new headspace centres to be established as part of the Federal funding.

"These new centres, as well as the future locations we hope to announce in the coming months, will address clear needs in the community to support young people on a range of mental health issues," Mr Tanti said.

headspace currently has 30 centres in all states and territories of Australia. 13 of these centres are in metropolitan areas and 17 in rural, regional or remote areas.

What is a headspace centre?

  • headspace centres offer health advice, support and information for young people (12-25 years).
  • A place where young people can receive help with mental health, physical health, education, work and drug and alcohol concerns.
  • The centres are staffed by GPs, Allied Health, mental health, youth workers and drug and alcohol workers who have specific expertise in working with young people headspace services are low cost or free.
  • Since opening our doors, 30,000 young people have accessed headspace services.

Click here for locations of current headspace centres.

headspace media contact:
Briony Walker
Mob 0402 399 746
Tel 03 9027 0112