Barossa Headspace push

Published on 11 October 2023

Members of State and Federal Parliament have joined forces with local mental health advocates to push for increased youth mental health services for the Barossa community.

On National Headspace Day (October 10) MPs Tony Pasin and Ashton Hurn backed in calls to increase mental health services in the Barossa and encouraged locals to join them in calling on the Federal Government to establish a Headspace facility in the community.

Member for Schubert Ashton Hurn said having a Headspace centre in the Barossa would be incredibly beneficial for the region.

“I’ve written to the Federal Health Minister (Mark Butler) in support of a Barossa Headspace and there are others working in the background to make this happen as well,” she said.

“Securing a Headspace here would go some way in helping to deliver better mental health support for young people in our community - it would be a big asset.

“Having spoken with local GPs, nurses, teachers, sports clubs, parents and students in our region, I know there’s significant support for the youth focused services that a centre like Headspace provides.

“A bricks and mortar, one-stop shop

like this is so critical in breaking down the stigma that is often associated with mental health challenges and would be a great asset for our region.”

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said he had voiced his desire to see a Headspace facility established directly with Minister Butler and spoken in Parliament about its need.

“I’m calling on the local community to help in the lobbying effort, because it’s critical to demonstrate the grassroots support for the proposal," he said.

“The closest headspace service to the over 10,000 young people living in the Gawler and Barossa region is Edinburgh North, located some 45 kilometres away, with little in the way of public transport options."

Established by the Coalition Government under then-Prime Minister John Howard in 2006, the Headspace network is well regarded as a cost-effective and well-designed service that aligns to the needs of young people.

“The network is currently being expanded with an estimated 170 Headspace and satellite centres expected to be operational by mid-2026, making now the perfect time to ensure the current Government recognises the need for a service in the Barossa,” Mr Pasin said.

Barossa Mental Health Steering Committee chair Dr Bill Gransbury said having a Barossa Headspace would be very beneficial for those young people and their families struggling with mental illness and other psychosocial issues in the region.

“Being able to access affordable services nearby will be a real plus and take the load off other services with their long wait times.”

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