Commonwealth response to 'The hidden toll: suicide in Australia'

Appendix B: Mental health: Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package

Page last updated: 2010

The Australian Government has made an election commitment to redouble national efforts to prevent the tragedy of suicide in order to reduce the tragic toll it imposes on individuals, families and communities. As part of this commitment, the Government will invest $274 million over four years to:

  • Key action area 1:
    Provide more services to those at greatest risk of suicide – including psychology and psychiatry services, as well as non clinical support to assist people with severe mental illness and their carers with their day-to-day needs ($115m)

  • Key action area 2:
    Invest more in direct suicide prevention and crisis intervention, including through boosting the capacity of counseling services such as Lifeline and providing funding to improve safety at suicide 'hotspots' ($74.5m)

  • Key action area 3:
    Provide more services and support to men – who are at greatest risk of suicide, but least likely to seek help ($23.2m)

  • Key action area 4:
    Promote good mental health and resilience in young people, to prevent suicide later in life ($61.3m)
Budget
1 – Boosting frontline services to support those at risk
2 – Taking action to prevent suicide and boost crisis intervention services
3 – Targeting men who are at greater risk of suicide – but least likely to seek help
4 – Promoting good mental health and resilience in young people
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Budget

The budget is separated into 4 smaller tables and a list in this html version for accessibility reasons. It is presented as one table in the PDF version.

1. Boosting frontline services to support those at risk

2010-11 ($M)2011-12 ($M)2012-13 ($M)2013-14 ($M)Total ($M)
More community-based psychiatry services
0.0
7.3
7.5
7.7
22.7
More community-based psychology services
0.0
7.6
7.9
8.0
23.6
Non-clinical services for the mentally ill and their carers
0.0
20.0
20.0
20.0
60.0
Nationally consistent reporting
0.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
9.0
Sub-Total
0.0
37.9
38.4
38.7
115.0

2. Taking action to prevent suicide and boost crisis intervention services

2010-11 ($M)2011-12 ($M)2012-13 ($M)2013-14 ($M)Total ($M)
Boosting capacity of the crisis lines
0.0
6.1
6.1
6.1
18.2
"Mental Health first aid" training
0.2
1.2
2.4
2.4
6.1
Infrastructure for "Suicide hotspots"
0.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
9.0
Community Prevention activities for high risk groups
0.2
6.6
7.9
7.9
22.6
Outreach teams to schools impacted by suicide
0.0
6.2
6.3
6.3
18.7
Sub-Total
0.4
23.0
25.5
25.6
74.5
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3. Providing more services and support for men

2010-11 ($M)2011-12 ($M)2012-13 ($M)2013-14 ($M)Total ($M)
Expansion of the National Workplace Program
1.1
3.3
3.3
3.3
11.0
Increased helpline capacity
0.5
0.9
0.9
0.9
3.2
Targeted campaigns on depression and reducing stigma
1.5
2.5
2.5
2.5
9.0
Sub-Total
3.1
6.7
6.7
6.7
23.2

4. Promoting good mental health and resilience in young people

2010-11 ($M)2011-12 ($M)2012-13 ($M)2013-14 ($M)Total ($M)
KidsMatter Expansion
2.0
5.3
5.5
5.6
18.4
Additional services for children with problems
0.2
9.2
6.1
6.1
21.6
Online mental health and counselling services
3.8
6.5
5.4
5.6
21.3
Sub-Total
6.0
21.0
17.0
17.3
61.3

Total

2010-11 - $9.5m
2011-12 - $88.6m
2012-13 - $87.6m
2013-14 - $88.3m
Total - $274m

Note: Figures may alter due to rounding.

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1 – Boosting frontline services to support those at risk

$115 million over three years, commencing 1 July 2011, will provide more frontline services – including psychology and psychiatry services, as well as non-clinical support services – for people with severe mental illness, and those at risk of suicide under the Providing more frontline services and support for those at greatest risk of suicide component of the package.
  • More psychiatry services for people with severe mental illness ($22.7m)
    In addition to providing funding for more counselling services, targeted funding will be provided to improve access to specialist psychiatry services in the community for people with severe mental illness. Divisions of General Practice, transitioning to Medicare Locals as they become available, will be provided with funding to 'purchase' around 20,000 services from psychiatrists each year and work with primary and community mental health providers in their area.

  • More psychological services for people who have attempted or are at risk of suicide ($23.6m)
    This funding will provide more psychological services for up to 37,500 people who have attempted or are at risk of suicide, to help reduce repeated attempts at suicide. This will be delivered through additional funding to the existing Access to Allied Psychological Services initiative (ATAPS), which will be delivered through Divisions of General Practice, transitioning to Medicare Locals as they become available.

  • Boosting non-clinical support services ($60.0m)
    Services to be purchased will draw from programs such as Support for Day to Day Living in the Community, Personal Helpers and Mentors Program and Mental Health Respite Program. This boost will provide a 15 per cent increase to funding available under these programs – sufficient to provide the equivalent of an additional 15,000 Support for Day to Day Living places, 3,000 Personal Helpers and Mentors places, and around 800 episodes of respite.

  • Making sure our investments deliver better outcomes ($9.0m)
    A National Report Card on mental health and suicide prevention will be established. Along with the establishment of nationally consistent local reporting by Medicare Locals on the performance of mental health services, including outcomes, giving those who matter most (consumers and carers) direct input into monitoring the performance of services.
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2 – Taking action to prevent suicide and boost crisis intervention services

$74.5 million over four years, with some elements commencing 1 January 2011, will expand direct suicide prevention activities – including counselling services, training for frontline community workers in suicide awareness, securing suicide 'hotspots', and supporting communities, including school communities, affected by suicide.
  • Boosting the capacity of crisis hotlines, including Lifeline ($18.2m)
    Funding will be provided to Lifeline Australia to increase the capacity of their existing support hotlines. This funding will result in a 60% increase in call capacity to around 700,000 calls being answered over time. Lifeline will also be provided with additional funding to establish dedicated phone lines at suicide 'hotspots' so that people who are actively contemplating suicide have help at hand.

  • 'Mental Health First Aid' training for frontline community workers ($6.1m)
    Funding will be provided to train frontline community workers such as financial, legal and relationship counsellors, and healthcare workers to better identify and respond to the needs of people at risk of suicide or who have attempted suicide. The funding will provide training in around 40 regions in Australia.

  • Improving safety at 'hotspots' ($9.0m)
    Capital funding will be provided to local governments to improve safety and infrastructure at notable 'hotspots' by improving fencing barrier, night lighting and closed circuit television monitors.

  • Community Prevention activities for high risk groups ($22.6m)
    Funding will be provided to support community-led suicide prevention activities targeted at groups and communities which are at high risk of suicide, including indigenous people, men, gay, lesbian and bisexual people, and families bereaved by suicide.

  • Outreach teams to schools ($18.7m)
    Funding will be provided to establish a nationwide network of mental health promotion officers, to provide outreach services from local headspace sites or local psychology services, to work with government and non-government school-based mental health workers and provide counselling and other support to school communities.
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3 – Targeting men who are at greater risk of suicide – but least likely to seek help

$23.2 million over four years, commencing 1 January 2011, will provide more support and services for men under the Targeting men who are at greater risk of suicide but least likely to seek help component of the package.
  • Expanding the National Workplace Program ($11.0m)
    Funding will be provided for the National Workplace Program currently delivered by beyondblue, which helps workplaces identify and support workers with depression who are not receiving treatment. An additional 350 workplaces each year will benefit from being assisted to indentify and support workers with depression. The expanded program will target blue collar work and trades and subsidise increased participation by small businesses.

  • Increasing the capacity of helplines for men ($3.2m)
    beyondblue will be provided funding to increase the capacity of their helpline to provide information and assistance to up to 30,000 more men each year.

  • Targeted campaigns for men's mental health ($9.0m)
    Funding will be provided for targeted campaigns on mental illness for men – to reduce stigma associated with mental illness and encourage more men to seek help. These campaigns will target high risk groups, including single men, fathers, older men, unemployed, rural and indigenous.
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4 – Promoting good mental health and resilience in young people

$61.3 million over four years, commencing 1 January 2011, will provide more services for children with mental health problems, as well as in promoting resilience and good mental health in young people under the Promoting good mental health and resilience in young people component of the package.
  • KidsMatter Expansion ($18.4m)
    Building on the existing KidsMatter program, around 1700 additional primary schools will be provided funding to promote good mental health and improve children's resilience. This investment will assist schools to tackle issues like bullying, by helping children to develop social and emotional skills, and creating a supportive school environment. About 348,000 children will benefit from developing greater resilience and positive mental health.

  • Services for children with mental health and developmental issues ($21.6m)
    Medicare Locals will be supported to work with local GPs, child and maternal health clinics, schools and other social services to develop linkages and support networks with local mental health providers. Funding will also be provided to Medicare Locals to purchase services, such as psychological services for parents and children. Around 26,000 children with severe behavioural problems or mental health issues will benefit.

  • Expanding online mental health and counselling services ($21.3m)
    An investment will be made in online mental health and counselling services to provide more avenues through which people with mental health problems can access services. About 40,000 people, particularly young people and people who are reluctant or unable to access face-to-face mental health services, will benefit from online treatment.