Young people in the area will be able to access mental health services where and when they need them, thanks to a federal government $4 million investment to expand headspace services in Armidale.
One in four young Australians are affected by a mental illness every year.
Many young people have also been substantially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, making it more important than ever to ensure access to youth mental health services.
In the 2021-22 Budget the Australian government is investing $278.6 million to expand and enhance the national headspace network and has committed to upgrade five headspace satellites to full headspace centres as part of this investment.
headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to teenages and young adults.
The service can help young people with mental health, physical health (including sexual health) alcohol and other drug services, and work and study support.
Local Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the upgrade to the headspace satellite in Armidale was very welcome and would provide great benefits to local young people aged 12 to 25 years, and their families.
"I am delighted that Armidale will very soon have its own headspace centre offering the full range of services and opening hours," Mr Joyce said.
Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network, which commissions headspace services, will receive $4 million over four years from 2021-22 for the upgrade.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said headspace offers a safe, welcoming place where young people can get non-judgmental professional help and peer support, so they can tackle their challenges in a way that is right for them.
"headspace provides free or low cost youth-friendly primary mental health services with a single entry point to holistic care in four key areas-mental health, related physical health, substance misuse, and social and vocational support," Minister Hunt said.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said he was pleased to see the expansion of headspace satellites to ensure these services can provide services to young Australians affected by a mental health illness every year.
"These investments will ensure better social and health outcomes for young Australians, giving them the opportunity to reach their full potential in life, "Assistant Minister Coleman said.
Mr Joyce said the investment is part of the coalition government's commitment to improve mental health services in New South Wales and across the nation.
"The funding reinforces our government's strong commitment achieving better mental health for all Australians, and will complement the existing investment of $6.5 billion in mental health services in 2021-22," he said.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through:
Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800),
Beyond Blue (1300 224 636),
Lifeline (13 11 14),
or the Government's digital mental health gateway, Head to Health www.headtohealth.gov.au
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