On Thursday, I was invited to an event where Senator Deborah O'Neill, Assistant Shadow Minister for Mental Health, and Susan Templeman, Member for Macquarie, announced that Labor will also fund a headspace Centre in Katoomba, in addition to a new outreach service in the Hawkesbury, if elected into Government.
We are passionate about improving the mental health of our local communities and are thrilled that both Katoomba and the Hawkesbury will receive funding for headspace services if Labor is elected.
Importantly, both Labor and the Liberal-National Coalition have committed to funding a Katoomba headspace Centre, which is a fantastic bipartisan outcome for our region.
As I have said before, we have been working hard behind the scenes to advocate for additional youth mental health services in our region, and particularly for the Hawkesbury, so we are pleased that our local member has listened to these concerns and taken action.
Using the National Mental Health Services Planning Framework tool, we estimate that currently 28% of children and young people aged 5-17 years living in the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury are at risk of, or are affected by mental illness. Of these, 66% are estimated to require an individually tailored mental health service response.
As a PHN, we understand the importance of our role in addressing local health needs and advocating for our community. Therefore, we will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders, including local, state and federal governments, to help deliver better health outcomes for our region.
Pictured from left: Wentworth Healthcare CEO Lizz Reay, Senator Deborah ONeill, Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman and Ms Templeman's daughter, Phoebe Fuller.