Why headspace?

With mental health being the single biggest health issue facing young Australians, developing services which are responsive and able to offer early treatment is essential.

The current mental health system is not resourced to deal with young people who have mild to moderate mental health issues. This often means that young people do not obtain timely treatment or they have difficulty finding a service that can respond to their needs.

Delays in obtaining a service are also caused because young people do not necessarily know the best place to seek assistance. Young people are most likely to talk to friends or family members as the first step in their help seeking journey.  These key people are often also unsure how to find best possible support options for their friends or children.

As Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation, headspace is tackling the issues which stand in the way of young people's access to accessible and appropriate health services.

Key statistics

Mental health problems and/or problematic alcohol and substance use is the most important health issue affecting young Australians.

  • Approximately 14% of 12-17 year olds and 27% of 18-25 year olds experience these problems each year.
  • 75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25.
  • Up to 50% of substance use problems are preceded by mental health issues in young people.
  • High suicide rates in early to mid adulthood are related to untreated mental health problems in the late teenage and early adult years.
  • Overall, mental health and substance use disorders account for 60-70% of the burden of disease among 15-24 year olds.
  • Currently only one in four young people experiencing mental health problems actually receives professional help.
  • Even among young people with the most severe mental health problems only 50% receive professional help.