The Liberal National Government will invest $4.5 million over three years to support the mental health of young Australians in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges.
Government funding will help establish an integrated Youth Health Hub (IYH), which will include a headspace service, through the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN).
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said young people in the local area face many challenges and these new services will provide a significant boost of support.
“The delivery of new youth focused services in Lilydale will reach out to communities throughout the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges,” Minister Hunt said.
“I am committed to ensuring young Australians can get information, advice, counselling or treatment, when and where they need it.”
“I want our young people to know they are not alone on their journey, and that headspace is there to deliver quality frontline support and coordinate the right interventions for people who are at risk,” Minister Hunt said.
Three quarters of all mental illness manifests in people under the age of 25 so early intervention can significantly reduce the duration and impact of mental illness.
The Hub will bring together local existing services, making it easier for young people in the area to access vital mental health and general health services.
Member for Casey, Tony Smith welcomed the establishment of a joint IYH and a headspace.
“I have long been lobbying for improved youth health services in our area,” Mr Smith said.
“This announcement will help address the growing needs around youth mental health in our area where almost a third of the population is under 20 years old.”
“A Youth Health Hub and headspace in Lilydale will deliver more health care resources for the Casey electorate and importantly, lead to improved service co-ordination.”
“I will be working with Yarra Ranges Council and other community organisations to ensure a suitable site for the Hub is found quickly. Importantly, improved service co-ordination and delivery can begin straight away,” Mr Smith said.
About 560,000 Australian children and adolescents are estimated to have a mental illness and one in four young Australians aged 16 to 24 experience mental illness in any given year.
The Liberal National Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with a record $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year alone.
The Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.