$64M package from Federal Government for suicide prevention and mental health initiatives

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation welcomes the announced $64M package from the Federal Government for suicide prevention and mental health initiatives.

The package was announced today as an early response to initial advice from National Suicide Prevention Adviser, Christine Morgan to support and rethink Australia’s approach to suicide prevention.

The Federal Government announcement includes $4.4M for headspace to provide training on suicide prevention and education sessions in schools to students through the Schools Suicide Prevention Activities Program (SSPA). This program complements the work undertaken by Be You, where headspace is a service delivery partner for Beyond Blue.

Jason Trethowan, CEO at headspace is pleased to see the response from the Government with the continued promise to make mental health a national priority.

“Schools have a pivotal role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people and their families. The Program builds on existing strategies that schools have in place and also enables timely referrals to headspace centres and mental health services to ensure help is sought at the earliest possible stages of distress,” said Trethowan.

In 2019, the Schools Suicide Prevention Activities Program team rolled out more than 1,500 mental health literacy and help seeking sessions to more than 70,000 students, while also providing training to thousands of parents and carers.

In Western Australia, the Federal Government has confirmed two headspace Centres in Port Hedland and Karratha as part of the announcement, with services anticipated to commence in July 2021.

Funding will also be allocated to extend the headspace Pilbara trial, an innovative outreach-based service that works with community, education, and Indigenous health services to take counsellors and support staff out in the field to where help is needed.

Also included in the announcement was the expansion of headspace services planned for Emerald and Roma in Queensland from a Satellite to a full Centre.

“We know it’s much harder for young people to access mental health services in rural and remote parts of Australia. Expanded headspace services in these locations in Western Australia and Queensland will go a long way to ensure young people can get support, regardless of their location.” Trethowan said.

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