Getting in the right headspace

Young people will get faster access to mental health treatment and early intervention services under a $461 million mental health and suicide prevention strategy.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the strategy would help tackle the “national tragedy” of youth suicide – an issue that “demands our ongoing attention and resources”.

Most of that funding will go to Headspace, a service set up in 2006 to give “tailored and holistic mental health support to 12-25 year olds” with a focus on early intervention and ongoing management.

The proposals include $152 million for the National Headspace Network to reduce waiting lists, $111.3 million to provide 30 new Headspace services, $109.7 million to extend the Early Psychosis Youth Services program and $114.5 million to trial eight adult mental health centres.

The government is providing $54 million over six years to establish four specialist residential facilities for eating disorders.

Another $5.5 million over four years will provide additional mental health services for people in Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland who have been affected by natural disasters. A further $5m over four years has been promised to implement suicide prevention initiatives, designed to support indigenous Australians.

Other health measures in last night’s Budget include:

  • $80 billion for more MRI machines, additional life-changing medicines on the PBS, better access to GPs, hospitals and dental services
  • Funding upgrades to regional hospitals, the first being in Townsville
  • Establishing Australia's first comprehensive children's cancer centre in Sydney
  • Helping to build a new Brain and Spinal Ward in South Australia
  • $500 million for a Royal Commission into the mistreatment of people with disability.


3 April 2019