The Morrison Government is providing $3 million to support young Australians in Victoria, ensuring they can access mental health support if and when they need it during this lockdown.
The funding will be matched by the Victorian Government and delivered through headspace, helping meet the critical demand for youth mental health services across the state.
This additional investment to headspace services, complemented by co-funding from the Victorian Government, will support a surge workforce of clinicians to immediately boost the capacity of 32 headspace services across Victoria for six months.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt MP, said the Government is profoundly committed to safeguarding the mental health and wellbeing of young Australians, who have been substantially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a tough time for our young Australians and we want them to know that they are not alone, which is why we’re putting more health professionals on the ground to meet increased demand,” Minister Hunt said.
It is vital young Victorians can get the mental health support they need, where and when they need it. This is even more so when their lives are upended by COVID-19-related restrictions.”
The funding will also ensure Primary Health Networks and headspace National can integrate activities through the National headspace Program for monitoring and evaluation activities. This further complements the Morrison Government’s $152 million program to reduce wait times and manage demand at headspace services across the nation.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention,
David Coleman MP, said the Government had made more than $500 million in direct supports to respond to the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic including $43.9 million in targeted support for Victorians during the 2020 lockdowns.
“We know that extended lockdowns can have significant impacts on the mental health of young Australians and our Government has worked quickly to ensure that additional support is available for those who need it,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
If the Victorian lockdown is extended, the Commonwealth will provide additional support in consultation with the Victorian Government.
Targeted mental health support for Victorians during the pandemic has included $12 million to bolster the capacity of Beyond Blue, Lifeline and Kids Helpline, and support headspace outreach services. An additional $31.9 million was also provided last year during Victoria’s extended lockdown to establish 15 HeadtoHelp mental health clinics across Victoria and to further enhance digital and phone services for vulnerable groups.
The Morrison Government continues to make mental health a national priority, investing a record $2.3 billion in the 2021-22 Budget for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform of the mental health system. This includes a record $6.5 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2021-22, doubling since 2012-13.
Australians looking for support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service anytime via telephone at 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.
If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.