Image: Boy leaning on a handrail

Expanding children, family and youth services

Michael is 14. One of Michael's school friends has noticed that he often seems down and withdrawn.

His friend suggests he check out headspace, a service for young people.

At headspace he talks to a counsellor and also accesses a support group that helps him get his life back on track.

Supporting young people who struggle with mental illness

Untreated conduct disorders in childhood significantly increase the social and economic costs to the individual and the community later in life. Mental illness is the biggest risk factor for suicide and a significant risk factor for not completing secondary school or unemployment.

Yet only 25 per cent of young people with mental illness access services, and most experience a long time delay between the onset of symptoms and receiving help.

That is why the Government is investing $481 million to significantly expand effective models of mental health care that are suited and acceptable to young people who are not always comfortable with accessing mainstream services.

National coverage of headspace youth‑friendly mental health centres

The Government is investing $197 million over five years in 30 new headspace centres to bring the total number of sites to 90 and achieve national coverage.

headspace is an evidence‑based model of proven effectiveness for delivering mental health services to people between 12 and 25 years, but existing services cannot keep pace with demand.

Once these sites are fully established, headspace will help up to 72,000 young people each year.

Additional Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres (EPPIC)

The 2011‑12 Budget provides $222 million over five years for up to 12 youth psychosis sites, based on the effective EPPIC model, to bring the total number of sites to up to 16.

The EPPIC model — an Australian innovation — has been taken up internationally.

With the cost shared with the States and Territories, these services can help at least 11,000 young Australians with, or at risk of developing, psychotic mental illness each year.

Expanding Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS)

The Government is also investing $61 million over five years to double — from 40 to 80 — the number of FMHSS to provide integrated prevention and early intervention services across the country.

This will provide a range of counselling, education and skills development services to over 32,000 vulnerable, at‑risk, and disadvantaged children and young people, along with their families and carers, to better manage the impact of mental illness on their lives.