Health Minister Greg Hunt announced this week two funding packages for the mental health sector. This funding is great news for communities across Australia as it means there will be more access to services for adults, young people and children.
Digital mental health services
The Government is providing an additional $1.8 million in funding over the next two years to four digital mental health services that offer telephone, web chat and online support.
One of these services is On the Line’s Suicide Call Back Service, which will receive $400,000 in funding. Suicide Call Back Service has seen a significant increase in calls over the last year. During 2016/17, we answered over 19,500 calls and, of those callers, 85% were at risk of suicide.
Kim O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer at On the Line, said, “On the Line is excited that Suicide Call Back Service is included in the digital mental health package announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt. This funding boost means that we can meet the demand and continue to deliver this vital service to Australians.”
Other organisations included in the funding package are ReachOut, Kids Helpline and QLife.
Child and youth mental health
The Government is extending mental health programs for young Australians with a $110 million package. The package aims to tackle youth anxiety and depression.
Key initiatives that will benefit from the funding include:
- headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation – $30 million to support Primary Health Networks to commission headspace services.
- beyondblue Mental Health in Education – up to $46 million to provide support to teachers and early childhood workers to work with families and young people.
- Emerging Minds National Workforce Support in Child Mental Health – $16 million to support professionals and services who work with children and parents.
- Orygen National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health – up to $13.5 million to provide national leadership for youth mental health in research, policy advice and workforce training.
As a counselling service provider that helps people to manage their social and emotional health, On the Line, is aware of the benefits of early support and welcomes this announcement.
If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to one of our counselling services.
Our professional counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.