$110 million additional investment in child and youth mental health

January 10, 2018


$110 million additional investment in child and youth mental health

The Coalition Government is providing an additional $110 million to expand mental health programs for young Australians, Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said today.

 “This new funding builds on record levels of investment in mental health services, and shows the Coalition Government’s commitment to improving mental health services,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It comes on top of funding already provided to Wide Bay for a new headspace mental health service at Gympie, which is set to open mid-year, and a National Suicide Prevention Trial for Gympie and Maryborough, run through the Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network.”

Mr O’Brien said mental health was a serious concern, with around four million Australians experiencing a mental health condition every year.

“Mental health conditions do not discriminate – people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and walks of life can be affected, either directly themselves or because someone close to them might be suffering. Even young children can be deeply affected,” he said.

As part of the funding announced, beyondblue will receive up to $46 million for its integrated school-based Mental Health in Education initiative.

beyondblue will continue to provide information, advice and support to teachers and early childhood workers so that they can teach children and young people skills for good social and emotional development, work together with families, and recognise and get help for children and young people going through a difficult time or a family crisis.

Emerging Minds will receive $16 million for the National Workforce Support in Child Mental Health initiative.

The funding will be used to continue delivering support to professionals and services who work with children, and the parents and families of these children, to identify, assist and refer children at risk of mental health difficulties and promote resilience building.

“These positive initiatives will help schools and communities to support the well-being and mental health of our kids and respond rapidly to personal and community challenges,” Mr O’Brien said.

Funding of $2.5 million will also provide for an evaluation of the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program – which today we are extending until June 2021.

The headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation will receive additional funding of $30 million for the headspace national program allowing it to provide further support to Primary Health Networks in commissioning headspace services.

Orygen will receive additional funding of $13.5 million for the operation of the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health to continue to provide national leadership for youth mental health in research, policy advice and workforce training.

These commitments for key child and youth mental health initiatives will provide a secure base for the great work done by these organisations.

Mr O’Brien said additional support was also available for a number of digital mental health services.

“The digital space is also playing an increasing role in the delivery of mental health care, as technology advances and more people are using the internet,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Coalition Government will provide an additional $1.8 million over two years to four existing Commonwealth funded digital mental health services – Kids Helpline, ReachOut, Suicide Callback Service and QLife – that provide telephone, webchat and other online support.

“The Coalition Government understands the importance of keeping our young people happy and healthy, and is committed to delivering vital mental health services for people of all ages across the country,” Mr O’Brien said.

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