As part of a new, nation-wide $26 million investment across the headspace network, headspace Katoomba will receive an additional $1.1 million in funding from the Morrison Government.
The new grant funding will be used to increase staffing capacity at the Katoomba service, with four new staff taken on, including a Senior Clinician.
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, who officially opened headspace Katoomba in August last year, said the additional investment would help reduce wait times.
“Headspace Katoomba has been experiencing periods of high demand and this funding will help them expand their services and improve access to high quality, youth friendly, mental health support,” Senator Payne said.
“Establishing a headspace centre in the Blue Mountains, with outreach to the Hawkesbury and supported by headspace Penrith, was an election commitment made by the Morrison Government.
“Under our 2021-22 Budget, we have made the single largest Commonwealth investment in mental health and suicide prevention in Australia’s history.
“We will continue to follow expert advice from headspace National as we work with the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network to strengthen the local headspace network.”
Since opening last year, the mental health service has been embraced by the Blue Mountains community.
“Mountains Youth Services Team and the Rotary Clubs of Blackheath and Katoomba have been among the many organisations that have formed strong and important links with the headspace team. This has helped create a wrap-around, holistic service,” Senator Payne said.
“Recently, we have seen the Blue Mountains Pluriveristy work with local young people to design, build and maintain a Permaculture Garden.
“Even Costa Georgiadis from the ABC’s Gardening Australia has paid a visit.”
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said one in four young Australians are affected by a mental illness every year.
“Many young people have also been substantially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, making it more important than ever to ensure access to youth mental health services,” Minister Hunt said.
“The funding reinforces our Government’s strong commitment achieving better mental health for all Australians and will complement our record investment of $6.5 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services in 2021-22.” The grant funding is part of the Government’s $152 million investment in the Headspace Demand Management and Enhancement Program, to reduce wait times and make capital improvements.
Over the next four years from 2021-22, the Government is investing $873.2 million in the national headspace network, this includes $758.2 million for the establishment of new services, ongoing service delivery and enhancement of existing services.
The Government continues to make mental health a national priority, and has provided a record $2.3 billion in the 2021-22 Budget for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform of the mental health system.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through headspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), Lifeline (13 11 14), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).
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