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