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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips

Youth Mental Health Supported Across Australia

The Coalition Government is investing in youth mental health services with an additional $110 million to extend and expand programs across Australia.

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin welcomed the announcement saying around four million Australians experience a mental health condition every year, and that those living in regional areas were at higher risk.

“This additional investment in Child and Youth Mental Health is great news for our young people in Barker,” said Mr Pasin.

“Ensuring our next generation have the skills to cope with what life throws at us from time to time is vital, particularly in rural and regional areas.” As part of the funding announced, beyondblue will receive up to $46 million for its integrated school-based Mental Health in Education initiative. The initiative provides information, advice and support to teachers and early childhood workers who can in turn support families, and recognise and get help for young people going through difficult times. Emerging Minds will also receive $16 million for the National Workforce Support in Child Mental Health initiative. This funding will be used to continue delivering support to professionals and services who work with children and families of these children, to identify, assist and refer those at risk of mental health difficulties and promote resilience building. Funding of $2.5 million will also provide for an evaluation of the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program – which has been extended until June 2021. Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation will receive additional funding of $30 million for its national program 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. Also included in the additional funding is support for a number of digital mental health services.

“The digital space is playing an increasing role in the delivery of mental health care and this is vitally important for young people, who may find it easier or feel more comfortable to seek help digitally," Mr Pasin said.

An additional $1.8 million over two years is also being awarded to four existing Commonwealth funded digital mental health services that provide telephone, webchat and other online support including: Kids Helpline, ReachOut, Suicide Callback Service and QLife.

“The youth of today are more connected via digital platforms than ever before. "Providing digital mental health services is important to help reach all youth but particularly those in rural and regional areas who find it difficult to access face to face services. “Supporting our next generation and ensuring they happy and healthy is not only benefiting them individually but helping to build stronger communities now and into the future,” said Mr Pasin.

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