Liberals to upgrade headspace offering

May 13, 2022 BY

Liberal candidate for Corangmite Stephanie Asher (left) and Liberal candidate for Corio Manish Patel (right) with Bellarine Community Health headspace Ocean Grove workers Tanya Fitzpatrick and Heidi Cavill. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

THE Morrison Liberal Government will improve headspace services in Corio and launch them in Bannockburn if it wins the coming federal election.

Earlier this week, the Liberals announced they would, if re-elected, commit $6.2 million over four years to upgrade the satellite service in Corio to a full headspace centre and establish a new headspace satellite service in Bannockburn.

The headspace program provides free or low-cost youth-friendly services for young people aged 12 to 25. This includes mental health, related physical health, alcohol and other drug use, and social and vocational support.

The new headspace services in Corio and Bannockburn will be commissioned by the Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN), with the new funding starting in the coming financial year.

The PHN will consult with the community to determine the exact locations and ensure that the services provide support in a way that meets their needs.

There are already headspace services in Geelong and Ocean Grove, and an adult Head to Health adult mental health centre opened in late 2021.

Liberal candidate for Corio Manish Patel said that the Corio headspace centre would significantly boost access to vital health care in an area that is experiencing significant demand for services.

“The headspace centre will meet a significant need for services in Corio and Norlane, which has a large and growing youth population,” he said.

“Importantly, headspace services are designed by and for young people to provide services in a way that works for them, ensuring that young people face fewer barriers to accessing holistic support for mental health, physical health, alcohol and other drug use, and social and vocational challenges.”

Liberal candidate for Corangamite Stephanie Asher said the announcement would be welcomed by many young people, parents and teachers in the region.

“With a focus on early intervention, headspace works with young people at a crucial time in their lives to provide the best possible health care and support, reducing the duration and impact of mental illness and helping them achieve their full potential.

“In establishing a new service in Bannockburn, this recognises the growing needs of both Bannockburn and Inverleigh which are rapidly growing communities.”

The Morrison Government says it has increased headspace funding by more than 250 per cent since coming to government, from $56 million in 2012-13 to $204 million in 2021-22, and says more than $870 million is earmarked to be invested into the headspace network over the next four years.