The Morrison Government will invest $300,000 to establish the new Albany Youth Challenge Park to help young people in the area cope with increasing social and mental health challenges.
It is estimated that one in five young Australians aged 16 to 24 experience mental illness in any given year. Creating social spaces that help young people maintain positive emotional and mental wellbeing can greatly benefit individuals, families and communities.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said young people in the local area face many challenges and this new facility will provide a significant boost of support.
“There are more pressures on young people today than ever before and the establishment of this Park is so important in providing needed services in our region,” Minister Hunt said.
“The desire to feel connected and have social support has a direct link to preventing suicide in young people,” Minister Hunt said.
Minister for Indigenous Health, Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the space will include a skate park, pump track, jump track and skills space to cater to people of all ages and families.
“The youth precinct will provide young people with a dedicated ‘hang out space’ to meet with friends and make them feel like valued members of the community,” Minister Wyatt said.
The Youth Challenge Park is the first stage of a multi‐stage approach by the City of Albany to developing the Youth Hub area and includes creating a home base for the Albany Mountain Bike Club and a critical staging point for events, such as the highly successful Southern MTB, BMX competitions and youth specific events.
Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the Youth Challenge Park will not only support the mental health of young people, but will also encourage engagement in physical pursuits, improving fitness and health and enhancing social, analytical and life skills.
“As a father of four young children I understand how important it is to support young people’s mental and physical well-being and to help them stay on track. Early intervention can minimise the lifelong impact of mental health issues.
“This is a fantastic project that provides a complete new range of experiences for young people in Albany.”
Stage 1 of the project is expected to be complete in October.
The Morrison Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with a record $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year alone.
The Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.