Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with Casey’s Youth including Dani Rothwell, Emily Cooper, Jake Downward and Steph Bruders to raise concerns about the delay in the rollout of headspace Fountain Gate due to the Abbott Government’s cuts to Medicare Locals.
Earlier this year the South East Melbourne Medicare Local (SEMML) was awarded the tender to be the lead agency that would run the headspace Fountain Gate/Narre Warren. SEMML was awarded the tender having successfully established headspace Dandenong within four months.
Despite their excellent work in establishing headspace Dandenong, SEMML has been informed by the Abbott Government that they can no longer establish the headspace Fountain Gate/Narre Warren due to a decision in the Budget 2014 to abolish Medicare Locals in favour of Primary Health Care Networks. This has created enormous confusion and potentially means a new tender process which would significantly delay the establishment of the headspace Fountain Gate.
Young people dealing with depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues in the local community are disappointed by this delay in establishing a headspace at Fountain Gate/Narre Warren.
The popular headspace service provides support in areas ranging from mental health issues, to drug and alcohol problems, physical health, social and vocational support.
Anthony Byrne MP said ‘We need this service as soon as possible. Our area has a significant youth population and deserves a youth friendly mental health service as soon as possible. Why should our young people be denied a service they deserve and desperately need’.
‘We need to keep fighting. There are more than 60,000 young people in the City of Casey. It’s simply not good enough to let politically fuelled reform overtake the establishment of headspace Fountain Gate as a priority. Our young people need this headspace and we need it now,’ said Dani Rothwell.
For more information about the national headspace program, see www.headspace.org.au.
Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.