Is headspace making a difference to young people’s lives?

AuthorsFiona Hilferty, Rebecca Cassells, Kristy Muir, Alan Duncan, Daniel Christensen, Francis Mitrou, Astghik Mavisakalyan, Katherine Hafekost, Yashar Tarverdi, Ha Nguyen, Ilan Katz
PublishedOctober 2015
PublisherSydney: Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia
Number of Pages263

headspace aims to improve the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing of young people in Australia through the provision of evidence-based, integrated, youth-centred and holistic services. In January 2013, the Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) commissioned a consortium of researchers from the Social Policy Research Centre and the Centre for Social Impact, UNSW Australia; Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University; and the Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia to evaluate the effectiveness of headspace.

The evaluation aimed to examine young people’s access to and engagement with the centre-based program including the demand for services at centres and barriers and facilitators to service use; assess the outcomes of young people who have received services from headspace to determine the effectiveness of the treatment; assess the centre-based program’s service delivery model including aspects of the model that are most and least effective in assisting headspace to meet its objectives, and conduct a cost effectiveness analysis of the program as it currently operates as well as an expanded version of the program that seeks national coverage.