June 14, 2016

Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, Jenny Macklin and Labor candidate for Page, Janelle Saffin today announced that a Shorten Labor Government will provide funding for the development of a Headspace Centre in the Clarence Valley which will provide assistance to young people experiencing mental health issues.

"There is a clear gap in mental health services in the Clarence Valley, and this $1.8 million in funding will address that gap by ensuring local young people can access the help they need,” Ms Saffin said.

“Establishing a Headspace Centre will give young people in Grafton and the Clarence Valley the same support as people in Coffs Harbour and Lismore.”

Ms Saffin said the Clarence Valley community had been rocked by the death of 11 young people from suicide in just 12 months.

“There are a number of factors behind the high levels of youth suicide and mental health problems on the North Coast. These include high levels of unemployment, cuts to other youth services, and substance abuse.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to this reality and pretend it’s not happening.  Ignoring the mental health needs of young people is effectively casting them adrift.

“That’s why I am so passionate about this issue, and so determined to make sure all young people in the Northern Rivers and North Coast have access to services such as Headspace.

“I have fought for the Headspace service for our region, and secured the Lismore Headspace. I have since argued that the Clarence Valley needs one as well, and if I am elected I will deliver it.”

Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, Jenny Macklin, said regionally delivered and funded services were vital to preventing mental illness and building stronger, more resilient communities.

“Labor is committing $1.8 million over four years to fully fund this vital service for young people in the local area.

“Labor will focus on preventing the tragedy of suicide by identifying and addressing the causes of suicide and providing services and support which target the people most at risk,” Ms Macklin said.

“A Shorten Labor Government will also commit to the National Mental Health Commission’s target to reduce suicides by 50 per cent over the next ten years.”


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