This week I was pleased to see the Minister for Health Greg Hunt and Minister for Rural Health Bridget McKenzie announce an additional $110 million to extend and expand mental health programs for young Australians.
Latest research suggests about four million Australians of all ages, including young children, experience a mental health condition every year.
As part of the additional funding package, beyondblue will receive up to $46 million for its integrated school-based Mental Health in Education initiative.
beyondblue will use the funding to continue providing 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 important 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.
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.
The extension of funding announced today for these key child and youth mental health initiatives will provide a stable funding base for the great work done by these organisations.
The digital space is also playing an increasing role in the delivery of mental health care.
Additional support will also be made available for a number of digital mental health services.
The federal Coalition government will provide an additional $1.8 million over two years to four existing Commonwealth funded digital mental health services that provide telephone, webchat and other online support.
These services are Kids Helpline, ReachOut, Suicide Callback Service and QLife.
Keeping children and young people healthy and happy is good for them, their families and for the broader community.