headspace: National Youth Mental Health Foundation: making headway with rural young people and their mental health

Craig A Hodges, Matthew S O'Brien, Patrick D McGorry
Australian Journal of Rural Health 2007, 15 (2): 77-80
Mental health is the number one health issue affecting young people in Australia today, yet only one in four of these young people receive professional help. Approximately 14% of 12- to 17-year-olds and 27% of 18- to 25-year-olds experience mental health problems each year. However, many do not have ready access to treatment or are reluctant to seek that help. These issues might be exacerbated in the rural and remote regions of Australia where sociocultural barriers such as stigma, lack of anonymity and logistic difficulties including cost and availability of transport can hinder young people accessing mental health services. headspace: the National Youth Mental Health Foundation has been funded to address these issues. headspace will provide funding for the establishment of communities of youth services across Australia, provide national and local community awareness campaigns and plans, establish a centre of excellence that will identify and disseminate evidence-based practice in addressing youth mental health issues, and translate findings into education and training programs that are targeted at service providers to work with youth mental health. The communities of youth services will build the capacity of local communities to identify early, and provide effective responses to, young people aged 12-25 years with mental health and related substance use disorders. Specific approaches in rural, regional and remote areas will be developed as well as specific programs to involve young Indigenous people.

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