Headspace plays a key role in improving the quality of life for young Australians

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A new study of more than 50,000 young people seeking support from Headspace has found that the service significantly and meaningfully improves the mental health of young Australians.

The research paper, published this month, charts improvements in mental distress, psychosocial functioning and quality of life in young people after they resort to Headspace support.

Nearly 71 percent of young people who sought help at Headspace centers between April 2019 and March 2020 improved in at least one of the three outcomes.

More than half of the young people improved in their self-reported quality of life.

Over a third of the young people had significant improvements in psychological distress and a similar proportion in psychosocial functioning.

The paper also outlines the main reasons young people presented to headspace centers, noting that most faced depression and anxiety (75.21%).

Founded in 2006, Australia’s Headspace model remains a world-leading initiative in mental health care for young people aged 12-25, inspiring similar services in Ireland, Canada, Denmark, Israel, the United Kingdom and parts of the United States .

Headspace CEO Jason Trethowan says research shows Headspace is having a transformative impact on the lives of young people in communities across Australia.

“After 16 years, Headspace continues to deliver positive results for the young people who use our services during difficult times,” said Mr. Trethowan.

“The report on improved quality of life for young people at Headspace is a testament to the holistic range of services Headspace provides, including support for mental health and well-being, work and study, alcohol and other drugs, and physical and sexual health.

“We remain committed to improving our services so that every young person has access to the care they need, including the increasing number of young people whose complex mental health needs go beyond the original scope of headspace’s mission of providing early interventions for primary mental health care.

“We are working with the government to expand the reach, capacity and breadth of services at our centers to help young people get back on track and fulfill their potential.”

A preprint of Sixteen Years of Innovation in Adolescent Psychiatry in Australia: Outcomes for Young People Participating in Headspace Center Services is available on medRxiv.

We encourage any young person, family or friend who needs support to visit their local Headspace centre. Support is also available via telephone and online counseling service eheadspace between 9am and 1am (AEST) seven days a week. The number is 1800 650 890.

If you’re looking for someone to talk to right away, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) are available 24 hours a day.

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