• Tony Bosworth

Nine years waiting for a Hawkesbury Headspace so Labor earmarks $3.6m to get it done

Updated: Mar 11

Young people in the Hawkesbury will finally have a Headspace dedicated to early intervention mental health services if an Albanese Labor Government is elected.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman said today Labor would provide $3.6 million over the next three years to create the first Headspace centre in the Hawkesbury.

MP Susan Templeman - floods the latest in a long line of challenges for Hawkesbury

“This last week of floods has been gruelling for people in the Hawkesbury, and will have consequences for the mental health of young people.

“I am sick of waiting for the Morrison Government to act on youth mental health,” Ms Templeman said.

“As a school principal said to me this week; our kids just can’t catch a break.

“Whether they’ve been isolated, evacuated, or inundated, they’ve lived through a particularly difficult time.

“The emergency isn’t over yet and we know the recovery is going to be physical, social and emotional.

“I won’t be the decision-maker for what happens over the next two months, but I can give people hope that if Labor wins the May election, we will have a full-service Headspace in the Hawkesbury. No questions, no delays, no excuses.

“We will fund it, staff it, and open it. This just can’t wait.

“The Liberals have had nine years to do this, and for nine years they’ve sat on their hands. If they took mental health seriously, we would have had a Headspace to support young people years ago, through the bushfires, through three floods and through waves of the pandemic – and that’s just over the past two years.

“Instead, all we’ve had is the promise of a promise and a Prime Minister who has failed our community and our young people at every turn,” said Ms Templeman.

“Between now and May I will be fighting for the mental health support that people young and old need to help come to terms with the trauma so many have experienced.

“I want people to know that I’m not waiting for some big media announcement about this Headspace – people have enough to worry about right now, and I want them to know that, if we’re elected, they can trust that a headspace will follow.”

Mark Butler, Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, said all of the challenges we have been through with bushfires, COVID, and the floods, as well as everyday pressures, meant demand for mental health support had surged to record levels across the country.

“Young people in the Hawkesbury should already have had access to more mental health support during the pandemic, but Scott Morrison has been too slow to act,” he said.

“Susan and Labor know the importance of expanding mental health services in the Hawkesbury and that’s why we will deliver a full-service Headspace.

“We need to make sure we have the right resources in place so young Australians can get the care they need.

“The mental health and wellbeing of young Australia is too important. They can’t afford to wait any longer.”

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