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With 2 in 5 young people experiencing mental ill-health, now is the time to ‘pause. reflect. reconnect

Mental ill-health

After more than two years of unprecedented pressure on young people, and with two in five now reporting a mental health condition, this headspace Day, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation is imploring Australians to stop and think about the significant challenges confronting young people – and do all we can to get them back on track.

Headspace Day offers Australians an opportunity to raise awareness about youth mental health so young people, their families and friends know where to go for support in tough times.

“The demand for headspace services has never been greater than it is today,” headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said.

“We’ve known from before the pandemic the period of adolescence and early adulthood is a critical time in a young person’s life, and 75% of mental illnesses emerge before the age of 25.

“After the tumultuous events of the past two years, including Covid-19, enforced lockdowns and natural disasters, the proportion of young Australians experiencing mental ill-health has increased to two in every five.

Mr Trethowan says this year’s headspace Day theme, ‘Pause. Reflect. Reconnect’, offers a pathway for young people to prioritise their mental health in the wake of the most severe Covid-19 measures.

“Many young people coming to headspace say they are experiencing anxiety and depression, and report feeling busy, stressed or upset in their everyday lives.

“This mental and emotional pressure can make life feel really challenging for young people.

“It’s times like these we make space to pause, reflect on how we’re feeling, and then to reconnect with the people and things that make us feel good. “You might find you need more support, in which case headspace is here to help. Every year, more than 100,000 young people visit a headspace centre or access phone and online counselling service eheadspace.

“It’s also important that all of us – families and friends, teachers and colleagues, mental health professionals and governments – take stock of how we can best support the young people in our lives to get back on track and reach their potential.

“That includes making sure we too take daily steps for a healthy headspace, and model self-care for the young people around us.

“Bouncing back from the past two years is a challenge that is going to require all hands on deck.”

We encourage any young person, family, or friends in need of support to visit their local headspace centre. Support is also available via phone and online counselling service eheadspace seven days a week between 9am–1am (AEST). The number is 1800 650 890.

If you’re looking for someone to talk to immediately, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) are available to talk 24/7.

To learn more about headspace Day, visit

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