The Morrison Government will establish a new headspace in Katoomba to provide innovative mental health support for young Australians in the Blue Mountains.

One in four people aged 16 to 24 experiences some form of mental illness every year and three-quarters of all mental illness manifests in people under the age of 25.

Intervention at the earliest possible stage is important to reduce the duration and impact.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said Katoomba was identified by headspace National and the local Primary Health Network (PHN), Nepean Blue Mountains as an area of particular need.

“The new $1.5 million headspace centre will provide vital services and deliver innovative support for young Australians in Macquarie,” Minister Hunt said.

“I want our young people to know they are not alone on their journey, and that headspace is there to deliver quality frontline services and coordinate the right interventions for people who are at risk,” Minister Hunt said.

Liberal Candidate for Macquarie, Sarah Richards said the headspace program aims to improve access for young people aged 12 to 25 years who have, or are at risk of, mental illness.

“I am thrilled that headspace will be offering early intervention services in Katoomba across four key areas—mental health, related physical health, social and vocational support, and alcohol and other drug use,” Ms Richards said.

“Services provide tailored and holistic mental health support, working closely with young people at a crucial time in their lives to help get them back on track and strengthen their ability to manage their mental health in the future.”

NSW Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the investment in Katoomba is part of the Morrison Government’s $501.3 million Youth and Indigenous Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan – the largest investment of its kind in the country’s history.

“The Morrison Government is absolutely committed to ensuring young Australians can get information, advice, counselling or treatment, when and where they need it,” Senator Payne said.

“These guaranteed new frontline services in Katoomba will help deliver that support.”

The new service in Katoomba is one of 30 new sites announced as part of the expansion of the headspace network from 115 to 145 sites nationally. It is expected that it will open by the middle of next year.

The investment will build on vital mental health services for young people in NSW facing mental health challenges.

The Liberal National Government is absolutely committed to ensuring young people have access to mental health services in their local areas. Since October 2018, the Government has provided over $200 million more funding to the headspace network. This is in addition to the more than $120 million per year provided for the 115 services nationally.

The Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with $736 million additional funding announced in the Budget and a record $4.8 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year alone.

The Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.