The Morrison Government is investing $24.2 million to reduce wait times – fast tracking access to mental health services for young people aged 12–25 seeking headspace appointments including in Barker.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said mental health and suicide prevention remains one of our Government’s highest priorities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on young Australians,” Mr Pasin said.

“One in four young Australians is affected by a mental health illness every year, and as we battle COVID-19 it’s more important than ever that we prioritise mental health.”

Mr Pasin said the investment would ensure young Australians can get information, advice, understanding, counselling and treatment, when and where they need it.

“Headspace is somewhere young people can get professional help, peer support and feel comfortable enough to tackle their challenges in a way that is right for them,” Mr Pasin said.

“Headspace provides access to 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.”

Prior to the pandemic, headspace service centres were experiencing high demand across the country.

Grants to Headspace centres across the nation will improve facilities, access and reduce waiting times at headspace services commissioned by PHNs.

The headspace Demand Management and Enhancement Program is an investment of $152 million over seven years from 2018-19 by the Morrison Government to reduce wait times at headspace services.

Mr Pasin visited the Berri Headspace today to congratulate the centre on the funding win. Berri will receive $421, 974 for additional staffing and training to provide additional brief interventions, walk in clinic time and outreach activities.

Through record investments in mental health services and support, the Morrison Government will invest an estimated $5.2 billion this year alone.

Since the beginning of the year, our Government has provided $8 billion as part of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Health Plan, which is supporting primary care, aged care, hospitals, research and the national medical stockpile.

This includes an additional $500 million for mental health services and support, including $64 million for suicide prevention, $74 million for preventative mental health services in response to the COVID- 19 pandemic and $48 million to support the pandemic response plan.