Headspace will struggle to cope with cuts to mental health plans

THE youth mental health initiative Headspace has criticised the federal government over its rebate cuts to GP mental health plans, claiming that even the current subsidies are insufficient for treating young people.

After receiving an extra $78.8 million over four years in the May Budget to expand from 30 centres to 90, Headspace was seen as a key beneficiary of the $1.5 billion mental health overhaul. 

But in a submission to an opposition led Senate inquiry into mental health, which began hearings on Friday, the not for profit initiative said rather than cut rebates for GP mental health plans under the Better Access scheme, the government should add more financial incentives to improve access for young people.

Headspace revealed its centres were struggling to attract doctors on the current rebates and had just eight full time equivalent GPs working within its 30 centres. 

The proposed cuts would see the centres lose between 20