Expansion of headspace

Objective 9.3:

Improve outcomes for vulnerable young people

Action 9.3.2:

Enhance delivery of existing youth services

The Infant, Child and Youth Mental Health Partnership Group identified the need to ensure young people are serviced across the stepped care continuum, recognising that there was a group of young people seeking support – but they typically fell in the gap between mild/moderate services that headspace could provide, and service/complex services that were provided by the State-based Child and Youth Mental Health Services (CYMHS).

This group often required more specialised, intensive and extended care than is currently available from headspace, however they were not yet acutely or severely unwell enough to reach the threshold to access CYMHS.  For 18+ young people, this gap in service provision is even bigger, with greater severity of mental illness required in order to be eligible for support from Adult Mental Health Services.  The experience of the young person is that of being ‘bumped around’ services without receiving appropriate support.

The existence of asha in the Moreton Bay North area provided a level of support for that part of the region – but the remainder of the region did not have access to this service.

Key Achievements

Following advice from the Partnership Group, the PHN committed to increasing the capacity of headspace centres in the southern part of our region (Nundah and Taringa) to provide more intensive support to young people with, or at risk of, severe mental illness.  A service model has been co-designed with both service providers and the expanded program will be piloted at both sites until 30 June 2020.

Key Learnings

There is a significant gap in service delivery for many young people, including those who do not meet eligibility criteria and those who are disengaged from services and supports.  Consideration of service models to reach these groups, as well as how current services can be adapted to reach these groups is important as limited resources are available.

What’s Next?

The expanded program will be implemented in 2019/2020 and the experience will help inform future investment post July 2020.

Get involved

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