Labor pledges to open a South Melbourne Headspace facility

Kaylah Joelle Baker

As the Australian federal election approaches, Labor is promising to deliver on providing a new Headspace facility in South Melbourne if elected.

With the pandemic resulting in a need for more services and support, Labor’s Federal Member for Macnamara Josh Burns said Labor was ready to do what Liberals could not.

“The Liberals have had a decade to reform our mental health system, and for a decade they’ve sat on their hands,” Mr Burns said.

“Instead of [Prime Minister] Scott Morrison who has failed our community and our young people at every turn, we need a Labor Government that restores integrity and leadership to our nation.”

In meetings with staff at Headspace including Hugh Flanagan, who is part of Headspace’s Youth National Reference Group, Mr Burns said both staff and young people had agreed that the “system is overloaded.”

“Our mental health system is at breaking point, and we need to do more to increase the availability of frontline services and workers,” Mr Burns said.

“Our recovery from the pandemic isn’t over yet and we know the recovery is going to require social and emotional support. While more Headspace centres are only part of the solution, it is an important step to reduce the wait times and burden on our existing network.”

Headspace is a vital youth service in Australia which helps to actively support young people with their mental and physical health, but in the area of Macnamara only one exists.

Found at the southern boundary of the electorate in Elsternwick, Labor is adamant that an additional second centre in South Melbourne will help to ease the pressure on existing services while supporting the local community in need.

Vocal about the difference the added centre will make to the area, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing and Member for Hindmarsh, Mark Butler said his party understood the importance of needing to expand mental health services.

“Young people in South Melbourne and surrounds should already have had access to more mental health support during the pandemic, but Scott Morrison has been slow to act,” Mr Butler said.

“The mental health and wellbeing of young Australia is too important. They can’t afford to wait any longer.” •

 

Left to right: Nina Taylor MLC, Cr Louise Crawford, Josh Burns MP, Senator Penny Wong, Hugh Flanagan.

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