Commentary on Jorm and Kitchener 2020: Rising Australian youth suicide rates despite headspace and Better Access

Tarun Bastiampillai, Jeffrey C.L. Looi, Stephen R. Kisely, Stephen Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

There has been concerted political advocacy for early intervention among young people (aged 12–25), leading to substantial investment in youth mental health, especially via headspace and Better Access, in Australia (Looi et al., 2019, 2020, in press). However, Jorm and Kitchener (2020) have concluded that since the introduction of the Better Access scheme and headspace centres, there has been no reduction in the population prevalence of youth psychological distress, ‘Rather, there appeared to be a worsening of youth mental health from around 2015 onwards . . .’ with a 47% increase in the population prevalence of very high and high levels of youth psychological distress, compared to 2003–2006, prior to the commencement of headspace and Better Access (Jorm and Kitchener, 2020). Youth psychological distress increased from 15% to 22% of the youth population over the period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-630
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume55
Issue number6
Early online date5 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Commentary
  • youth mental health
  • political advocacy for early intervention
  • Better Access scheme
  • Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundations
  • prevalence of youth psychological distress

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