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Government brings Headspace grants to $208 million in 3 months

The federal government has gifted an additional $47 million to headspace to improve its head office

Headspace will upgrade its ambassador program and administration with a $47 million funding boost by the Coalition government in a move to improve youth mental health.

The youth mental health organisation’s head office will receive the bulk of the funding, but $2 million of the grant will be used to send eight young people around the country to share their experiences of mental health and encourage others to seek help.

Health Minster Greg Hunt said in a statement: “I want our young people to know they are not alone on their journey, and that headspace is there to deliver quality frontline support and coordinate the right interventions for people who are at risk.”

The $45 million funding over three years will go towards training for professionals and to translate the latest research findings into practical improvements for young people. It will also be used to reduce stigma around mental illness and encourage more young people to seek help and ensure those who access support get the best care.

The remaining $2 million will fund the Young Ambassadors for Mental Health project over four years, which will see eight young people on a “travelling roadshow” interact with other young sufferers. Through a youth summit, regional youth forums and online activities, the ambassadors will seek to improve how people seek self-care.

“It’s well known that mental health is an issue that is very close to my heart,” Hunt said. “I’m committed to ensuring that Australians can get information, advice, understanding, counselling and treatment, when and where they need it.”

The government will also guarantee a future for headspace by expanding the role of the organisation in providing support to Primary Health Networks with commissioning of headspace services throughout Australia.

This announcement follows several major funding injections into headspace. October saw $51.8 million committed to headspace centres and headspace to ensure frontline services were being met. In December, a further $110 million was committed to centres across the country to provide specialist clinical services in the early stages.

“The latest funding boost brings our total investment in headspace to more than $208 million since October last year,” Hunt said. “The Liberal National Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with a record $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year alone.”

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