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New headspace services to support young people in the Pilbara

The Turnbull Government will provide new headspace services for young people across the Pilbara region. 

$2.3 million will be invested over two years and the new services will help to address some of the current challenges experienced by young people living in the local area, which in some cases lead to mental ill-health, self-harm and suicide. 

Member for Durack Melissa Price said she was pleased to see one of her election commitments for the Pilbara fulfilled so quickly since being re-elected. 

“I have been working hard for the young people in the Pilbara, who face unique mental health challenges” Ms Price said. 

“There are more pressures on young people today than ever before and the establishment of these new headspace services are so important in providing needed services in our region.

“These new services will deliver front-line services and coordinate the right interventions for at risk young people,” Ms Price said.  

Due to the remoteness and sparse population, a range of approaches will be trialled over two years to deliver services to young people, including mental health assessment, care coordination, psychological intervention, vocational and practical support. They will also link young people to specialist nurses or GPs as needed. 

“The Pilbara was identified as a high priority area for headspace services for young people, but its size makes it hard for young people to access traditional headspace services.”

“The new services will be developed in partnership with local youth, bringing services to young people rather than the other way round.

“The emphasis will be on collaboration between local services to provide support to young people in a number of aspects of their lives, in tune with the headspace approach.” 

The West Australian Primary Health Network will work closely with headspace in trialling these different types of services.  

Young people under 24 make up 30 per cent of the Pilbara population. The most vulnerable are young Aboriginal people, especially Aboriginal boys who represent 50 of all males in the 15 to 19 year old age bracket.

The region has very high rates of alcohol and drug use, domestic and interpersonal violence and high risk behaviours.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said headspace offers early intervention for 12 to 25 year olds in four key areas – mental health, related physical health, social and vocational support, and alcohol and other drug use.

“I am committed to ensuring that Australians can get information, advice, counselling or treatment, when and where they need it,” Minister Hunt said. 

A planning phase will now begin and headspace services are expected to be available within 12 months. 

The Turnbull Government is committed to boosting mental health services with the 2017-18 Budget providing more than $170 million for mental health support, treatment and research.

This includes $80 million of additional funding, contingent on matched commitments from the states and territories, to maintain community psychosocial services for people with mental illness who do not qualify for assistance through the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

People living in rural and remote regions of Australia will now receive significantly improved access to psychologists, under a new $9.1 million telehealth initiative set to roll-out later this year.

(ENDS)
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