The services provided to young people through the headspace centres across Australia

Med J Aust. 2015 Jun 1;202(10):533-6. doi: 10.5694/mja14.01695.


Objectives: To describe the services provided to young people aged 12-25 years who attend headspace centres across Australia, and how these services are being delivered.

Design: A census of headspace clients commencing an episode of care between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014.

Participants: All young people first attending one of the 55 fully established headspace centres during the data collection period (33,038 young people).

Main outcome measures: Main reason for presentation, wait time, service type, service provider type, funding stream.

Results: Most young people presented for mental health problems and situational problems (such as bullying or relationship problems); most of those who presented for other problems also received mental health care services as needed. Wait time for the first appointment was 2 weeks or less for 80.1% of clients; only 5.3% waited for more than 4 weeks. The main services provided were a mixture of intake and assessment and mental health care, provided mainly by psychologists, intake workers and allied mental health workers. These were generally funded by the headspace grant and the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

Conclusions: headspace centres are providing direct and indirect access to mental health care for young people.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Child
  • Community Mental Health Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Community Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Financing, Organized
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Workforce
  • Young Adult