GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (14:41:28): I am sure many of you in this place and indeed the other place have heard of Headspace. The bright green jigsaw puzzle logo signifies a place young people can walk into and ‘put the pieces together’. Here they can have an honest, no-judgement conversation about mental health issues and prepare a positive way forward. Too often we hear of instances of depression, anxiety and, most unfortunately, suicide in our adolescents, and this needs to change. Youth suicide is the leading cause of death among young people, with around 350 young people aged 15 to 24 dying by suicide each year. This is terrible, but what makes this worse are the numbers we do not know. It is thought that for every one suicide there are anywhere between 100 and 200 suicide attempts.
After meeting with Headspace CEO Jason Trethowan I have to commend their forward thinking when it comes to mental health. The team at Headspace been having the tough conversations for years—over 2 million occasions, with great results. Having their management overwhelmingly filled with young people allows Headspace to connect with our youth extremely well. It is getting them to seek help that is often the issue. I look forward to the federal election pledge of new Headspace centres eventuating in my electorate, including in Colac and Ocean Grove, but there is more to do to reduce youth suicide from a state Parliament perspective and also as an individual. So let us all start the conversation about mental health today. Congratulations to Headspace for all the work they have done and continue to do for our kids.