Just days before the official Federal Election campaign is expected to start the Morrison Government is using its remaining time in control of the 45th Parliament to allocate $1.53 million to establish a new Headspace centre in Batemans Bay.
Health Minister, Greg Hunt says Batemans Bay was identified by Headspace National and the local Primary Health Network South Eastern NSW, as an area of particular need.
“The new Headspace centre will provide vital services and deliver innovative support for young Australians in Gilmore,” Minister Hunt says
One in four people aged 16 to 24 experiences some form of mental illness every year and three-quarters of all mental illness manifests in people under the age of 25.
The retiring Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis says intervention at the earliest possible stage is important to reduce the duration and impact.
“These guaranteed new frontline services will help deliver that support,” she says.
“I want our young people to know they are not alone on their journey, and that Headspace is there to deliver quality frontline services and coordinate the right interventions for people who are at risk,” Minister Hunt says.
The news comes after the launch of Headspace Bega just before Christmas, and while having a bricks and mortar presensce in Bega is providing an outreach service to Eden, Cooma, and Narooma.
Moruya GP, Dr Michael Holland, and the One New Eurobodalla Hospital group have been lobbying for the Headspace footprint to extend to Batemans Bay.
“Providing Headspace services in Batemans Bay is a momentous initiative towards youth mental health care,” Dr Holland says.
“It will save lives and produce a generational improvement in mental health quality of life.”
Speaking to Region Media, Dr Holland points to further work that needs to be done as planning for the previously announced new Eurobodalla regional hospital rolls out.
“I commend Mrs Sudmalis and Mr Hunt on this commitment and look forward to comprehensive local mental health services from pregnancy and early childhood through adulthood and older age,” he says.
The Headspace program is pitched at young people aged 12 to 25 years who have, or are at risk of, mental illness.
The service offers early intervention across four key areas; mental health, related physical health, social and vocational support, and alcohol and other drug use. Working closely with young people 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 new service in Batemans Bay is one of 30 new sites announced as part of the expansion of the Headspace network from 115 to 145 sites nationally. It is expected that it will open by the middle of 2020.
Labor candidate for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips says, “Labor is announcing new Headspace centres across the country and will have more to say in the coming days and weeks.”
Making an appointment at Headspace Bega or connecting with the regional outreach service is easy, Headspace has a ‘no wrong door’ policy.
Simply drop in, give them a call, or send an email and the local team will get in contact.