Gympie to receive new headspace youth mental health services
A new headspace youth mental health service will be established at Gympie in Queensland to help support the mental health of young people in this region.
The Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie, joined the Member for Wide Bay, Mr Llew O’Brien at the Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network to announce the new headspace services.
headspace services will provide vital early intervention support to young people in Gympie, a region working to overcome disadvantages that in some cases can lead to increased mental ill-health and self-harm, and suicide rates higher than the national average.
“This will be a welcome boost to health services in a region identified as an area of high need, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Llew O’Brien for his hard work and advocacy of the headspace initiative,” said Dr Gillespie.
“We know that the pressures of daily life can be overwhelming for some young people, and services like headspace can be that critical first step in getting the right support, at the right time.”
headspace offers early intervention services for 12 to 25 year olds across four key areas:
- mental health;
- related physical health;
- social and vocational support; and
- alcohol and other drug use.
Early intervention remains the key to reducing the impact and duration of mental illness, which affects one in four young Australians, aged between 16 and 24 each year.
Gympie is one of ten regions to receive new headspace youth mental health services.
Today’s announcement is part of the Federal Coalition Government’s commitment to invest an additional $28.9 million for these ten new headspace services in regional and rural communities, bringing the total number of services to 110 by 2019.
“This new headspace service will save lives, by helping end the stigma associated with mental illness, and assisting young people in the Gympie region to access the help they need to live a happy and fulfilling life,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-44, and far too many of our young people are tragically ending their own lives before they have begun.
“This is a battle I have witnessed in my former role as a police officer; and in my personal life; so I know how important it is for people to access mental health assistance, particularly in regional areas, and the big difference the right treatment can make,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Coalition Government remains committed to ensuring that Australians can get information, advice, counselling or treatment, when and where they need it.
“Gympie headspace will now begin a planning phase with services expected to be available within 12 months.”
As a key element of the Federal Coalition Government’s mental health reforms, headspace centres and other Commonwealth-funded, regionally delivered mental health programs are now funded through Primary Health Networks.
The Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network has been working closely with the community to assess local mental health needs, and commission services to meet these requirements.
 Central Qld, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast PHN, Health Needs Assessment 2015-16: Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, http://professionals.ourphn.org.au/sites/default/files/uploads/MH-Suicide1516-WEB.pdf, accessed 3/05/17.