Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the Government will provide an additional $52 million in funding to the youth mental health service Headspace.
In his announcement, the Prime Minister cited figures saying that 1 in 4 young Australians were suffering from a mental health issue and said that this needed to be addressed.
He expressed an eagerness to deliver the funding saying that it was bound to “make a big difference” in the lives of young people.
He added that Headspaces’ services reached far beyond counselling but also helped young people with “getting a job”, “supporting their physical activity” as well as “improving their relationships”.
He then described Headspace as a “pro-active organisation” and that the extra funding would help young Australians in remote and regional communities have better access to mental health services.
As for how the funding is split, $12.8 million will be spent improving the online eheadspace service that provides online counselling to remote communities. The rest of the money ($39 million) is to be spent on improving existing centres but not on building any new ones.
The funding is also a one-off payment, with no promise of additional money being spent after 2019/20.
Some have criticised the ‘one-off’ funding boost as an excuse to use it as a talking point in the upcoming Federal election. However, it is generally agreed that the additional funding will have a positive effect in terms of increasing the accessibility of Headspace services.