Dan Tehan, Member for Wannon, said he was delighted that headspace in Colac is now officially launched, delivering on my 2019 commitment for a service for young Australians in Colac and the Otway area.
“I am very committed to ensuring young Australians get the mental health advice, counselling, or treatment they need. The launch of headspace in Colac will help deliver the support where it is needed”, said Mr Tehan.
The Colac headspace was allocated $3.5 million under the Coalition Government in 2019, with Western Victoria Primary Health Network announcing in 2021 that Barwon Health would operate the Commonwealth Government-funded headspace in Colac.
The investment in the Colac headspace builds on the Coalition-funded headspace services available in Warrnambool, Portland, and Hamilton.
The headspace program aims to improve access for young people aged 12 to 25 years who have, or are at risk of, mental illness. headspace offers early intervention services across four key areas—mental health, related physical health, social and vocational support, and alcohol and other drug use.
Mr Tehan said the availability of mental health services for rural and regional families is so important, particularly with serious mental health issues often showing at their highest two to three years after a crisis, pandemic, or natural disaster. This why it is vital that vulnerable Australians have continued access to the psychology sessions they need.
Mr Tehan said it was timely with the launch of headspace today and with the focus on mental health to question why the Labor Government was cutting support to mental health services Australians rely on, including critical Medicare-subsidised psychology sessions available through the Better Access initiative from 10 to 20.
Mr Tehan said he would continue to advocate for more headspace services in Wannon for young people, including much-needed services in the Ararat area.
He is also joining his Coalition colleagues in supporting a petition calling on the government to urgently reinstate critical Medicare-subsidised psychology sessions until such time as the Albanese Government put in place an alternative to ensure adequate access to mental health support for all Australians who need it.