Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey officially launched the new Whyalla Headspace today during South Australia Youth Week, saying that the facility will enable the region’s young people access to support through a wide range of services.
“This day has been a while in the making. I began campaigning for this facility almost three years ago and today to be here participating in its opening is a great thrill,” Mr Ramsey said. “I have had many allies here in Whyalla in securing the funding for the unit, but in particular I would like to thank Cr Clair McLachlan for supplying the initial spark for me to pursue.
“And Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, who is unable to attend today, but sends his best wishes, has been extremely supportive in ensuring a Whyalla headspace becomes reality.”
“The Port Augusta headspace has been providing access to mental health services, councilling and most importantly a safe drop-in spot for teenagers and young adults for five years.
“It is exciting that Whyalla’s young people will now have the same level of support.
“We are well aware of the damage being caused to our young people by drugs in general and ice in particular which are contributing greatly mental health strains and insecurity. headspace will make a difference. With one in four young Australians currently experiencing a mental health condition it is so important to talk about what is going on and seek support early.
“Like physical conditions, mental health conditions can be managed. With the right support and treatment, young people can achieve their goals and enjoy life.
“This is a terrific facility and has a great feel. New and modern it is my hope that it will act as a magnet to those who need help.”
The Australian Government has provided more than $1.7 million over two years for Headspace Whyalla, through the Country SA Primary Health Network (PHN).
Headspace provides free or low-cost holistic care in person and online to young people aged 12 to 25 years in four key areas – mental health, related physical health, alcohol and other drug use, and social and vocational support.
Intervention at an early stage is important to reduce the duration and impact of mental health conditions which is why the Australian Government has expanded the headspace network. Whyalla is the 102nd headspace to open nationally.
All of the new services are in rural and regional areas, like Whyalla, where young people previously had little access to free or low cost mental health support.
“Improving mental health services is a central pillar of the Government’s Long Term Health Plan. We are supporting headspace services with more than $93.7 million funding this year, to support the mental health and wellbeing of tens of thousands of young Australians,” Mr Ramsey said.
“As a key part of the Australian Government’s mental health reforms, PHNs across Australia now have responsibility for providing federally-funded primary level mental health services, including headspace, within their regions.“
The Whyalla headspace received $906,600 to support the early delivery of services this financial year. In 2018-19 it will receive $842,000.
Country SA PHN also funds headspace services at Berri, Mount Gambier, and Port Augusta. The lead agency for headspace Whyalla, Country and Outback Health, also operates headspace Port Augusta.
Media contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 8633 1744
April 19, 2018