Creating a healthy space for youth
ON Tuesday, October 11, thousands of people across the country generously threw their support behind the inaugural Headspace Day.
This national day is to ensure that every young person has access to youth-friendly mental health services, no matter where they live.
Headspace Day celebrated 10 years of innovation in youth mental health and was also triggered by alarming new research from Orygen and headspace that revealed more than 50 per cent of young people were waiting six or more months before seeking help for mental health issues.
This period of waiting and worrying can have detrimental effects, from social isolation to relationship breakdowns, drug and alcohol abuse and in severe cases, incidents of selfharm or suicide.
The research also uncovered that close to 50 per cent of young people said cost was a barrier preventing them from getting treatment.
Nearly half said they believed they could not be helped and more than 50 per cent said they were afraid of what others would think.
We need to change these perceptions.
Every year, a quarter of all young people in this country will experience mental health issues and we want them all to know headspace is here to help.
With 95 centres across Australia, integrated with a phone and online chat service eheadspace, over the past decade, headspace has enabled over 270,000 young people to access mental health care.
headspace has made outstanding progress over the past 10 years, but we still have a way to go.
Access is crucial and help-seeking is the first step that every young person must make and we need to continue to provide effective and easy pathways to make sure this can happen for everyone.
We want to see every Australian community with a headspace centre.
Visit headspaceday.org.au to see how you and your local community can get involved or give a donation to support young people in need.
And finally, thanks to everyone who took part in the first Headspace Day, we look forward to you all joining us again next year.
Professor Patrick McGorry headspace founding board member.