The Federal Government’s national injection of $51.8 million for headspace centres and eheadspace will be life changing for many young people in Gippsland, according to Gippsland Primary Health Network Acting Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch.
Ms Proposch said the funding would assist to address demand for headspace services as well as support capital works improvements for centres.
Approximately 560,000 children and adolescents nationally are estimated to have mental illness and one in four young Australians aged 16–24 experience mental illness in any given year. Three quarters of all mental illness manifests in people under the age of 25.
Ms Proposch said the Federal Government was responding to increased demand for headspace services from young people and the need to support the infrastructure requirements of the existing headspace network.
“Regional and rural areas are vulnerable in many areas of health which is why it is so important we continue work to deeply understand and meet the needs of our communities,” Ms Proposch said.
“We are already partnering with headspace to deliver important mental health services to our young Gippslanders and this latest funding for headspace will assist in ensuring continuity and sustainability of current headspace services.
“Importantly, it will assist Gippsland PHN in addressing increased demand across the network from young people seeking help, provide additional clinical services, reduce waiting times and improve service delivery.”
The headspace program began in 2006 to provide tailored and holistic mental health support to 12 – 25 year olds. With a focus on early intervention, it works with young people to provide support at a crucial time in their lives – to help get them back on track and strengthen their ability to manage their mental health in the future.
The eheadspace program provides free, confidential and anonymous telephone and web-based support services to young people aged 12 to 25 years with, or at risk of developing, mild to moderate mental illness.
Ms Proposch said the headspace model provided holistic care in four key areas – mental health, related physical health, alcohol and other drug use, and social and vocational support.
In line with current arrangements for the provision of headspace service funding, this additional funding will be allocated to specific headspace centres.
“We will work closely with the Department of Health to determine allocation of funding,” Ms Proposch said. “We anticipate that each headspace centre will receive additional funding of approximately eight percent of their current allocation.”
The department will seek proposals from all PHNs, including Gippsland, for capital funding for refurbishment of older centres or essential relocation of centres in early 2019 in time for allocation of funds to PHNs from July 2019. Details of this process are yet to be determined.
For more information or to arrange an interview with Ms Proposch, please contact Jade Sarna on 0428 091 517 or Lynne Smith on 0437 918234.