$110 million boost for school and youth mental health programs - Education Matters Magazine

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$110 million boost for school and youth mental health programs

New Government funding to extend and expand mental health programs for young Australians includes up to $46 million to provider Beyondblue for its school-based Mental Health in Education initiative.

Minister for Rural Health Bridget McKenzie announced an additional $110 million for mental health programs for young people, stating that around four million Australians experienced a mental health condition every year.

The funding for Beyondblue would be used to provide information, advice and support to teachers and early childhood workers so 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 difficult times or family crises.

Emerging Minds would also receive $16 million for its National Workforce Support in Child Mental Health initiative.

The funding would help deliver 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.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the initiatives would help schools and communities support the well-being and mental health of Australia’s kids and respond rapidly to personal and community challenges.

Funding of $2.5 million would also provide for an evaluation of the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program, which has been extended until June 2021.

The Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation would receive additional funding of $30 million for its national program, allowing it to provide further support to Primary Health Networks in commissioning Headspace services.

Orygen would receive additional funding of $13.5 million for the operation of the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health to provide national leadership for youth mental health in research, policy advice and workforce training.

In addition, an additional $1.8 million over two years would be provided to four existing Commonwealth-funded digital mental health services that provide telephone, webchat and other online support.

Those 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,” Mr Hunt said.

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