Young people in Cowra and surrounds will now have easier access to mental services with the opening of a new headspace satellite service this week.
The new service, announced as part of the Morrison Government’s $111.3 million funding commitment to establish 30 new headspace services, will open today at its permanent new location at 118 Kendal Street, Cowra.
The service has been commissioned by the Western New South Wales Primary Health Network (PHN) to meet the needs of young people in the community. This will provide a permanent home for the interim service currently operating in Cowra.
The headspace network is at the heart of the Morrison Government’s vision for youth primary mental health services. This service will allow young people in the Cowra region to access vital mental health services.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said young people have been affected significantly by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and access to mental health services and support was more important than ever.
“We know that the pandemic and the measures taken to contain it have been incredibly difficult and stressful for many Australians, and particularly younger Australians,” Minister Hunt said.
“That is why we are prioritising mental health support, ensuring that young people have access to care to help them recover and reach their full potential as we continue to reopen the country.”
“Over the next four years, our Government is investing $873.2 million in headspace, bolstering capacity to reduce wait times and undertaking the single largest expansion of the network to deliver 164 services by 2025-26.”
Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, welcomed the announcement and said the Federal Government was continuing its support for youth mental health, particularly in regional and rural areas.
“The Cowra community has been calling for this service and I am proud to be a part of a Government which is delivering these services where they are needed,” Mr McCormack said.
“I was delighted to visit the building site of the Cowra headspace in December and look forward to seeing it fully operational and supporting our community for years to come.
“headspace is recognised by young people, their families and communities as a trusted source of care and has played a vital role in ensuring young Australians are supported and continue to receive support during these challenging times.”
headspace offers early intervention services across four key areas—mental health, related physical health, social and vocational support, and alcohol and other drug use.
Services are co-designed with young people to ensure they are relevant, accessible and highly effective.
Since March 2020, the Morrison Government has made available more than $1 billion in funding to respond to the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a substantial investment in telehealth services.
The Morrison Government has also invested a historic $2.3 billion in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan through the 2020-21 Budget to deliver significant reform of the mental health system and ensure that all Australians have access to high quality, person-centred care as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This brings the health portfolio expenditure in mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2021–22 to a record high of $6.5 billion.
Young Australians needing support can access free services through their local headspace or online through eheadspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/).
Australians looking for support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service any time via telephone at 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).
People seeking help in NSW can also call the dedicated Head to Health number (1800 595 212), talk to a mental health professional and be triaged through this service and directed to the most appropriate care according to their individual needs.