The Morrison Government will a invest a further $47 million to continue to support the mental wellbeing of young Australians through headspace with a new youth mental health ambassadors project and funding for its head office.

About 560,000 Australian children and adolescents are estimated to have a mental illness and one in four young Australians aged 16 to 24 experience mental illness in any given year. Three quarters of all mental illness manifests in people under the age of 25 so intervention early in life and at an early stage of illness can reduce the duration and impact of mental illness.

The Morrison Government is providing $2 million over four years to Headspace National (the coordinating agency behind the headspace network of services) to deliver the Young Ambassadors for Mental Health project. Eight young ambassadors with lived experience of mental health issues will engage with the public on mental health issues – including, through a travelling roadshow, a youth summit, regional youth forums and online activities. They’ll promote mental health literacy, improve how people seek help, support young people’s capacity for self-care, and help destigmatise mental health issues.

Funding of $45 million over three years will also be provided to Headspace National to continue to support and build the quality of the network of 108 headspace centres across the country. This investment will allow the organisation to help train mental health professionals and to translate the latest research findings into practical improvements for young people. The funding will also allow Headspace National to continue to reduce stigma around mental illness, encourage young people to seek help, and ensure young people who access support through the headspace network get the very best care when and where they need it.

The Government will also be guaranteeing a stable future for headspace centres by expanding the role of headspace National in providing support to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) with commissioning of headspace services throughout Australia. “This is great news for Headspace network around the country, including the three Headspace centres in Barker at Berri, Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier,” Mr Pasin said.

“Since the Liberal Government established Headspace in 2006 it has become an integral part of ensuring young Australians have access to information, advice, understanding, counselling and treatment, when and where they need it.”

“I’ve seen first-hand how important Headspace is to local young people. The additional funding our Government is putting into this initiative is very welcome news.”

This latest funding boost brings the total investment in Headspace nationally to more than $208 million since October last year.

The Morrison Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with a record $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year alone.

“Our Government’s strong economic management ensures we continue to invest record amounts of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals,” Mr Pasin said.

Contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8531 2466