The Australian Government has provided funding of $93.7million in 2017-18 and $95.3 million in 2018-19 for headspace services, to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people.
The Government committed $28.9 million at 2016/17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook for an additional ten new headspace services, bringing the total number to 110 by 2019. The locations of these new services have now been announced, with a focus on increasing service coverage for young people living in rural, regional and more remote locations of the country, where public transport is scarce or non-existent.
The Government consulted Primary Health Networks (PHNs), who are responsible for planning and commissioning youth mental health services in their region, regarding the location of additional headspace services. Careful consideration was given to factors such as demonstrated need, youth population, supporting infrastructure and other existing youth mental health services to decide on the location of the ten new sites.
The Eastern Melbourne PHN’s region encompasses the City of Monash and receives annual funding of $2.9 million for the commissioning of headspace services within their region. Eastern Melbourne PHN currently commissions headspace centres located at Greensborough (27kms from Monash), Hawthorn (19kms) and Knox (9kms). The Eastern Melbourne PHN also commissions the Youth Engagement and Treatment Initiative (YETTI) which is delivered though Eastern Health. YETTI provides extra frontline staff to support more young people with, or at risk of, severe and enduring mental illness.
In additional to these services, young people living in the City of Monash can also access headspace services located at Dandenong (14kms), Elsternwick (20kms) and Bentleigh (19kms), which are commissioned by South Eastern Melbourne PHN.
Following his meeting with a delegation from Monash in May 2017, Minister Hunt has decided to defer consideration of a headspace centre for Monash to a future round of new headspace services.
For those young people who are currently unable to access a headspace centre, or other heath service, eheadspace is available. eheadspace 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.
This service is an alternative approach for young people to access support and help. eheadspace uses online communication tools that many young people have indicated is a preferred way of communication with and accessing support services. eheadspace can be contacted by telephone on 1800 650 890 (free call), or via the internet.