House debates

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Statements by Members

Barker Electorate: Mental Health

1:47 pm

Photo of Tony PasinTony Pasin (Barker, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I've spent a lot of time in this chamber in recent months—indeed, years—speaking about the need to improve mental health services in the regions. Today I take that cause up again, specifically on behalf of young people living in the Barossa. Our government is undertaking the largest single expansion of the headspace network, creating an additional 51 new services and bringing the total number of headspace facilities in the nation to 164 by 2025-26. I'm advocating for the establishment of one of those new headspace centres for the Barossa Valley. The closest headspace facility for the roughly 10,000 young people living in the Gawler and Barossa regions is Edinburgh North, located in Adelaide's northern suburbs, some 45 kilometres away. Waiting times at that facility are up to 28 weeks for any ongoing therapy. Clearly, more services are required.

Like many regional areas of Australia, the Barossa Valley also has long waiting times—reportedly six weeks to access GP appointments required for mental health plans. Even then, access to private psychologists is difficult, with many closing their books due to excessive case loads. I'm fighting for the establishment of a headspace service in the Barossa to service the ever-increasing mental health and wellbeing needs of young people in that community.