“The announcement today is confirmation of the commitment I made to the Whyalla community as part of the last election. As of today the funds are available to the Primary Healthcare Network and we can get on with the job of making this a reality,” he said.
“It is a service I have been advocating to be established for some time after seeing the resounding success of the facility in Port Augusta and the wonderful work that has been done for young people that area.
“Headspace is a proven model offering support, confidential chat services and assistance with mental and sexual health issues and will be established in Whyalla to provide ongoing support to young people in the region.
“This service will provide a welcome boost to local mental health services, in an area previously identified as being of high need.
“With external pressing issues facing young people in Whyalla which have placed added strain on our younger community, some time ago I invited the former National CEO of Headspace Chris Tanti to Whyalla to meet with a representative body to discuss options for Whyalla.
“I also look forward to meeting and working with new National CEO of headspace Jason Trethowan as we progress towards the headspace Whyalla
“I particularly thank Whyalla City Council Councillor Claire McLachlan who originally brought this proposal to me and I thank her for her contribution to this outcome.”
Mr Ramsey said the Whyalla headspace has been funded with a budget of $800,000 per annum by the Federal Government which will fund a youth workers, clinicians and strong support from medical professionals. There is also a separate budget allocation to fit-out suitable premises.
“The exciting news are the plans to operate the Port Augusta and Whyalla facilities jointly which will provide a saving of $150,000 a year on operating costs which in turn will be redirected to providing even more clinical services,” he said. “In effect this is a joint dividend for Port Augusta and Whyalla.
“There are more pressures on young people today than ever, and for some, life can become overwhelming.
“I am really pleased with this announcement and what it will mean for many of our young people.”
headspace offers early intervention for 12 to 25 year olds in four key areas:
· mental health
· related physical health
· social and vocational support
· alcohol and other drug use.
Whyalla headspace will now begin a planning phase with services expected to available within 12 months.
Mr Ramsey next week said he will meet with representatives from Primary Health Care Network which has oversight of mental health services in country SA to discuss finding a suitable premises in Whyalla.
Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 86 33 1744 April 27 2017