The mental health of young people in the community is being put under the spotlight today as part of the inaugural National headspace Day.
Northern-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald said breaking some of the taboos around mental health, especially amongst those aged 16-24 years, was an important aim of the national awareness day.
“The statistics are alarming – approximately one-in-four young people aged between 16-24 may experience a mental illness at some point in their lives, so it’s imperative that it becomes part of the conversation of the health and wellbeing of our youth,” Senator Macdonald said.
“Mental illness is treatable like any other medical condition, but unlike a physical illness, the stigma is much greater, and that is why headspace is such a valuable resource for young people.”
The headspace network has been providing young people with access to low cost, youth-friendly mental health services for 10 years.
Senator Macdonald said across the North, there were a number of dedicated headspace youth health services, in Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and Mount Isa.
“These wonderful facilities act as a one-stop shop for the mental health needs of young people in our community, particularly in regional areas where support services are not always readily available,” Senator Macdonald said.
As well as providing mental health services, headspace also offers a range of additional advice and support services to young people on physical health, work and study support, and alcohol and substance abuse.
During the recent election campaign, the Federal Coalition committed $20million for an additional 10 headspace centres, with the aim to increase services in rural and regional areas. This continued investment will bring the total number of headspace centres to 110 around the country by 2019.
For more information on youth mental health services or National headspace Day, visit www.headspaceday.org.au