Headspace is a youth mental health initiative established by the government to provide mental health services and assistance in promoting young peoples’ well-being.
Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds, along with assistance in promoting young peoples’ wellbeing. This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.
Information and services for young people, their families and friends as well as health professionals can be accessed through this website, headspace centres, online counselling service eheadspace, the Digital Work and Study Service and postvention suicide support program headspace School Support.
The aim of headspace is to reduce the burden of disease in young people aged 12-25 years caused by mental health disorders and related substance use. This will be manifested through improvements in the mental health, social wellbeing and economic participation of young people in this target group.
To this end, headspace is:
- Building a stronger awareness about youth mental health in order to encourage young people with mental health concerns to seek help much earlier.
- Building the capacity of communities to undertake:
- Early detection and early intervention in the emergence of mental health problems;
- Evidence based interventions for the treatment of mental health and associated substance use and other issues;
- Significant improvements in service integration and coordination through co-location and/or other strategies; and
- Continuous evaluation and service improvement.
Headspace is also assisting local communities to achieve this through a range of complementary strategies, including:
- provision of funding and other support for the establishment of headspace centres across Australia;
- provision of a national community awareness campaign, as well as resources for each headspace centre to develop and mobilise local community awareness plans;
- identification and dissemination of findings in relation to evidence-based practice in addressing youth mental health issues by the Centre of Excellence;
- translation of findings about evidence-based practice into education and training programs and resources that are targeted at enhancing the capacity of GPs, mental health professionals and other service providers to work in youth mental health.
Headspace centres are located across metropolitan, regional and rural areas of Australia. They are built and designed with input from young people so they don’t have the same look or feel as other clinical services. The centres are there to help people access health workers – whether it’s a GP, psychologist, social worker, alcohol and drug worker, counsellor, vocational worker or youth worker. You can find your nearest centre here.
Services at a centre are either free, or have a low cost. You can ask if there is a cost when you make your appointment. Some services require you to have a referral from a doctor; but don’t worry headspace can help you with this as well.
The role that centres play in helping young people has been overwhelmingly effective, with 60 per cent of our clients showing significant improvement. The other 40 per cent are still on their journeys and are continuing to receive services at headspace or alternative services.
eheadspace is an online and telephone service that supports young people and their families going through a tough time.
If you don’t have a centre nearby or you don’t feel ready to visit a centre, eheadspace provides confidential support seven days a week between 9:00am and 1:00am.
To access eheadspace for the first time, you’ll need to register on their website or over the phone. To register, you will need to provide some information like your email address, postcode and age.
Sessions generally go for 30 – 60 minutes, and if you’re receiving support from a headspace centre or another service they may ask your permission to speak with your health worker to ensure eheadspace is providing the best support. But like headspace centres, everything is completely confidential unless they’re seriously worried about your safety or the safety of someone else. When that happens, they must – by law – try to keep everyone safe and this means they might have to share their concerns with someone else.
eheadspace also holds monthly online information sessions where you can join group chats to talk on different things like sleep issues, self harm, helping out a friend and more.
Headspace also has a School Support program funded by the Federal Government Department of Health that works with school communities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from suicide. Please visit the School Support section to find out more.
The Turnbull Government will establish a new headspace mental health service in Whyalla, South Australia 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.
Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, said the Whyalla community will benefit from this new headspace.
“There are more pressures on young people today than ever before, and for some, life can become overwhelming,” Mr Ramsey said.
“The new headspace will offer services which will be a huge boost for young people seeking help in our community.
“Early intervention is absolutely critical to helping young people with mental health issues and the Whyalla headspace will deliver front-line services and coordinate the right interventions for at risk young people.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said Whyalla was the second location in Australia to receive one of ten new headspace youth mental health services.
“I am committed to ensuring that Australians can get information, advice, counselling or treatment, when and where they need it,” Minister Hunt said.
The Turnbull Government is investing an extra $28.9 million for ten new headspace services, in regional and rural communities, bringing the total number of centres to 110 by 2019.
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.
As a key element of the Turnbull Government’s mental health reforms, headspace centres and other Commonwealth-funded, regionally delivered mental health programs are now funded through Primary Health Networks.
Country South Australia Primary Health Network has been working closely with the community to assess local mental health needs, and commission services to meet the specific needs of the community.