WE NEED TO DO BETTER FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

THE HON JULIE COLLINS MP.
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2 years ago
WE NEED TO DO BETTER FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
THE HON JULIE COLLINS MP
The latest Mission Australia annual youth survey is a stark reminder that the level of mental ill health amongst young people remains of persistent and increasing concern.
 
According to the survey released today 43 per cent of young people identified mental health as the top issue facing Australia – up from 33% in 2017 and doubling since 2016.
 
Labor knows that despite the best efforts of governments and sector alike, mental ill health continues to affect far too many young Australians.
 
With half of mental disorders presenting in people before the age of 14 and seventy-five per cent before the age of 25, targeting children and young people is critical.
 
When a young person is experiencing mental ill health and they are attempting to seek help, there is a small window to intervene and help them and their loved ones. At the moment, existing services are struggling to cope with demand.  For many young people, these services are not always easily accessible.
 
Labor acknowledges, values and respects the amazing and tireless work undertaken by youth mental health professionals. However, Labor knows there is more work to be done to improve the mental health of young Australians and we know that more early intervention services are needed.
 
That is why under a Shorten Labor Government the total number of headspace centres will expand to 112. Labor recently announced that a Shorten Labor Government will create a new Burnie headspace and Monash headspace to deliver greater early intervention mental health services for those aged 12 to 25 years.
 
This builds on Labor’s strong history of supporting and expanding youth mental health services, particularly headspace.
 
When Labor was last in Government we increased the number of headspace sites by investing almost $200 million to bring the total number of headspace centres to 90. Labor also expanded the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre services that are delivered by headspace.
 
Labor has been consulting with headspaces all around the country, as well as meeting with youth mental health experts, including young people with lived experience and accessing services.
 
Labor knows that we can and must do better for our young people. Because taking action on youth mental health is simply the right thing to do – for our young people, their loved ones and the broader community.
 
* For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Other services include Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636, Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800, MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978 *
 
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