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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 269

Ms SHARKIE (Mayo) (13:33): The need for mental health services in the Adelaide Hills has never been greater. Our population is growing, and rapidly, and we need specialist services such as headspace close to hand. The Mount Barker district population is approximately 30,000 and is expected to reach 50,000 in just two decades time. Twenty-six per cent of the population is aged younger than 18, compared with 21 per cent in Adelaide.

In my electorate I run community youth forums called Young Mayo. The forums are incredibly valuable for me, as I hear directly from young people what issues are important to them. One issue that is important to them is getting a headspace centre in our community. They have instigated a petition, which is getting widespread community support.

Recent statistics show that 15 out of every 100 people in the Mount Barker region suffer from mental health related issues. Even more concerning, between 2008 and 2012 the suicide rate in Mount Barker was the highest in South Australia. Given our rapidly expanding population, we are long overdue to get a headspace centre.

I urge the government to recognise the vital need for mental health services in our region, particularly for young people. I look forward to sharing with the government the results of the petition and will continue to call for this vital service.