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headspace — Australia’s innovation in youth mental health: who are the clients and why are they presenting?

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation is the Australian Government’s major investment in the area of youth mental health.1 The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (NSMHW) revealed that one in four young people experience a clinically relevant mental health problem within any 12-month period, compared with one in five in the general population.2 Half of a cohort of young people were shown to suffer diagnosable mental ill health at some point during the transition from childhood to adulthood, which reduces fulfilment of their potential and increases likelihood of disability and premature death.3 Australian data are consistent with international trends and the adolescent and early adult years are periods of peak prevalence and incidence for most mental disorders.4,5 Yet, despite having the highest prevalence, young people have the lowest level of professional help-seeking for mental health problems across the lifespan.2

headspace was initiated in 2006 to address the concerning mismatch…