Interested in improving access to mental health help for young people in the Hawkesbury?
Then join with hundreds of other locals in signing a petition begun by Macquarie MP Susan Templeman, calling for funding for a Headspace service.
Ms Templeman started the petition out of frustration after no funding was identified in this year’s Federal Budget for the Hawkesbury service, despite $100 billion in spending and $1 trillion of debt.
“With numbers that big, you’d think there would be an embarrassment of riches for this area, particularly in light of increased demand for mental health services after we went through bushfires, two floods and a pandemic. But apparently not,” she said.
Ms Templeman has been vocal on the lack of local mental health support services for years, with it personally affecting her family. She said in 2019 Labor committed $2 million to establish a local service, as previously reported in the Independent magazine. You may have also seen Headspace flyers in your letterbox lately.
“The Hawkesbury has been waiting eight years for the Federal Government to deliver a Headspace, which provides mental health services for people aged 12 to 25 years old and is an easy way to reach out early for youth-focused help.
“Young people, and their families, should not be asked to wait any longer.”
With few mental health services available in the district, young people have to travel up to an hour away to get help. Transport issues alone are cause for concern here, unless you have access to a car, which many under 25s don’t.
Ms Templeman’s comments came as she moved a motion in Parliament today (2 June) drawing MPs’ attention to youth mental health issues.
“In the motion, I noted that suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15 to 24 years, and recognised that young people’s decision to access mental health care is fragile – if they don’t have a positive experience they may not make another attempt to seek help,” she said.
“Youth-friendly mental health services are not available uniformly to young people, and I called on the Government to increase access to effective mental health services and supports for young people across all stages of mental ill-health, and build a youth mental health workforce to meet the current and future needs.
“I’d urge all those who want to join with me in getting more mental health services for our area to sign this petition. Together, we can send a message to the Morrison Government that we need a Headspace now.”
Picture: Macquarie MP Susan Templeman speaking in parliament.