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Josh Frydenberg - Liberal for Kooyong
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Published: Wednesday, 6 July 2011

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Mr Frydenberg has called on the Gillard government to consider the electorate of Kooyong as a suitable location for a new headspace site.

Headspace sites provide a one-stop shop for young people, aged 12 to 25, to access information and services relating to general health and well being, mental health and alcohol and drug services.

Established by the Howard government in 2006, there are today 30 headspace sites across Australia, including seven in Victoria, with another 60 to be rolled out nationally. Since 2006, headspace has assisted more than 35,000 young people across metropolitan, regional and rural Australia.

“Ensuring the provision of first class mental health services is a priority for me and a priority for the constituents of Kooyong. The location of a headspace site in the electorate will be of great benefit to many young people in our community who may need to access support services. In addition to speaking in the Parliament about mental health issues, I have raised the idea of a Kooyong based headspace site directly with Professor Patrick McGorry AO, former Australian of the Year and a founding board member of headspace”, Mr Frydenberg said.

According to the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, “approximately 14% of 12 to 17 year olds and 27% of 18 to 25 year olds experience mental health or alcohol and substance use problems each year.” The fact is that “75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25” and “currently only one in four young people experiencing mental health problems actually receives professional help.” Significantly, youth suicide is also a major problem in our community with the foundation finding that “the 20 to 24 year age group has the highest rate of suicide of any age group” in Australia.

Mr Frydenberg, who has spoken in the Parliament about these important issues, said “these statistics are alarming and if we are going to be successful in reducing the harm caused to our society it will require all levels of Government to work together and make the issue of mental health the highest priority. Our local community deserves it and demands it.”

“As the Member for Kooyong I will continue to advocate for comprehensive and accessible mental health services for all, and the establishment of a headspace site in Kooyong would be a significant step forward for our local community”, Mr Frydenberg said.

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