30 Jul 2013

Headspace is a well regarded institution and its facilities have a positive reputation for their capacity to help young people with mental health issues and broader health concerns. For the past 4 years Summit Health has been the lead agency for all the Hills youth mental health providers in lobbying for a site to be located in this region to address the lack of equity in accessing services compared with metropolitan Adelaide.   We lack services for youth in the Hills.

On 28th June headspace announced a new location in South Australia.  It has been labelled as Central and Hills however it has been notionally allocated to Norwood. A number of the Hills health and community service providers have expressed their concerns that the youth of  our region would be significantly disadvantaged with such a location. Norwood is not directly serviced by public transport from the Hills and would require a young person to catch a bus from the Hills into Adelaide and then back out to the eastern suburbs and return via the same route.  Such a location would lack any equity when compared with the ability of the community surrounding Norwood to access support services and would undermine the ‘drop-in’ behaviour which is one of the key features of headspace centres that encourages engagement with the service.  A teenager at risk or seeking a friendly service will not access Norwood when they could access Second Storey in the city…. only catch 2 buses not 4 !

We have written to headspace to highlight our concerns but have yet to hear from them. We have also contacted our local members of Parliament to highlight the inequity of the location and have received invitations to meet with several of them to discuss the matter further.