$2.28m to Boost Mental Health Support for Young People in Ballarat and Warrnambool

Media Release

The Ballarat and Warrnambool headspace centres have received a welcomed boost in funding to further enhance mental health support and reduce wait times for young Australians.

Over $2.28 million of Commonwealth funding grants will be allocated by Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) to the headspace centres at 28 Camp Street, Ballarat ($493,000) and 210 Timor Street, Warrnambool ($1.79 million). The grant will allow the Ballarat site to increase the capacity through a redesign of the current headspace Ballarat premises while also reducing wait times for both centres.

In total, $26.0 million is being provided under this grant opportunity in 2021-22, with funds to be provided to 17 PHNs across Australia and headspace National.

WVPHN Chief Executive Rowena Clift said this significant boost in funding will be used to increase and improve access to mental health support for young people aged 12 to 25.

“Long or any wait times can be the difference between a young person in our community seeking the intervention they need and reaching a crisis point,” Ms Clift said. “This funding boost will allow these headspace centres to not only reduce these wait times, but also develop new ways to offer high-quality support to our young community members as deemed necessary. This could range from the development of online support tools to physical enhancements to the building itself.”

Ms Clift believes such improvements combined with improved awareness and education of our communities will also provide greater peace of mind to the families of those with suffering from mental illness.

“Continually improving the community’s education about mental illness will only serve to reduce the stigma around mental illness and those who struggle with it, both the individual and their families,” Ms Clift said. “Supporting our communities to learn in addition to supporting the individual’s mental health needs will enable young people to participate meaningfully in their community.”

The other Victoria headspace centres to receive funding are: Bendigo, Bentleigh, Collingwood, Dandenong, Frankston, Glenroy, Mildura, Narre Warren, Shepparton, Sunshine, Swan Hill.

headspace is available to young people aged 12 to 25 years along with their families and friends to provide face-to-face mental health information, support and services. Young people can call to make an appointment themselves. Alternatively, GPs can refer patients by directly contacting their local headspace centre, or a family member or friend can refer them to headspace. These services are generally free of charge.

If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 000, visit your nearest hospital emergency department or use any of these helplines:

  • Lifeline – 13 11 14 | lifeline.org.au
  • Beyond Blue Support Service – 1300 22 4636
  • Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467 | www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
  • Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800 | www.kidshelpline.com.au
  • MensLine Australia – 1300 789 978 | www.mensline.org.au