It's one of the first steps to overcoming the depression and drug abuse epidemic plaguing our Australian youths, establishing a Headspace in our town.
The immense isolation of Esperance from the rest of WA is the biggest barrier to our teenagers and young adults getting the support they need when they experience troubled times. If a kid wants to break an addictive drug cycle or has been bitten by the black dog, then the next point of call is a four hour drive to Kalgoorlie or a $300 plus flight to Perth. Neither of these options are practical and can leave an untreated person without support or the resources they need to help them get clean or make it through.
A Headspace in town provides the shop front and the voice for those in need. They will provide the direct support or offer contacts around town if necessary to the circumstances.
The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, says the new service will provide a significant boost to regional towns including Esperance.
"There are more pressures on young people today than ever before and the establishment of this headspace is so important in providing services in our regions," Minister Hunt said.
"I want our young people yo know they are not alone on their journey, and that headspace is there to deliver quality frontline support and coordinate the right interventions for people who are at risk."
Hear from Ken Wyatt, the Minister for Indigenous Health, Senior Australians and Aged Care as he made the announcement in Esperance earlier this week (it featured on the Sean for Breakfast Show).
The size, shape and location of the headspace proposed for Esperance is unknown at this stage. It's the Primary Health Network's directive to investigate the level of need in Esperance and make recommendations for the degree of service depending on the town's requirements.
Federal politicians are adamant that despite a looming federal election the funding set aside for mental health across Australia ($4.7 billion this financial year alone) will remain... no matter what party gets up post election.