Further boost for youth suicide prevention

Liberal Party of Australia

The Morrison Government is providing a further boost for a range of school-based, online and community programmes aiming to reduce the risk of suicide and suicidal behaviours among young people across the country.

The funding forms part of the $114 million National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Programme (NSPLSP) grant opportunity, a key pillar of our Government’s historic National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan first announced in the 2021-22 Budget.

The NSPLSP is supporting key suicide prevention activities across several significant themes, including national leadership, research and training, education and awareness, lived experience in suicide prevention, youth suicide prevention, Indigenous suicide prevention, men’s suicide prevention and veteran’s suicide prevention.

The youth suicide prevention component announced today provides more than $13 million over three years from 2022-23 to 2024-25 for key organisations to deliver national services to support the mental health and wellbeing of younger Australians.

Successful organisations include:

  • ReachOut Australia, which will receive $1.17 million to develop and deliver two evidence-based national digital media campaigns focussed on supporting young people aged 16 to 25. The campaigns will raise awareness of suicide and the help available, and will deliver a suite of digital information, resources, and interactive content;
  • Orygen, which will receive $1.35 million to extend its #chatsafe program to include updated guidance on safe online communication about suicide and self-harm for young Australians, families, educators, Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and the social media industry;
  • MacKillop Family Services, which will receive $4.89 million to support young people at risk of suicide by building the capacity of leaders and educators in schools and communities to deliver the Seasons for Growth evidence-based education programs;
  • Youth Insearch Foundation, which will receive $4.74 million to pilot a youth lived experience workforce program in rural communities; and
  • Youth Live4Life, which will receive $0.87 million to build on their successful, locally-driven, evidence-based program for improving youth mental health and reducing suicide, and expand it into new rural communities.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the Morrison Government recognised how important it was to give young people extra support at crucial times.

“Every life lost to suicide is a terrible tragedy and has a devastating impact on families, friends and communities,” Minister Hunt said.

“By developing and delivering support that works for young people we can save precious lives and protect our communities from enormous suffering.”

The projects focus on supporting young Australians, as well as those who work with, care for and support them.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the grants supported existing and successful programs as well as new and innovative approaches.

“The program reflects our multifaceted approach to suicide prevention which aims to ensure that every Australian can be supported in the way that works best for them,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.

“Youth mental health is a key commitment for our Government and we are prioritising mental health education, support and research to protect young Australians and help them reach their full potential.”

Suicide prevention is a key pillar of the Government’s landmark $3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

The Plan recognises Australians deserve a system that acts early to help people before mental health conditions and suicidal distress worsen, and that whole-of-government and whole-of-community changes are needed to deliver preventative, compassionate, and effective care.

Since 2012-13, the Coalition Government’s investment through the Health portfolio in mental health and suicide prevention has more than doubled, growing from $3.3 billion to an estimated $6.8 billion in the 2022-23 Budget.

This is in stark contrast to Mr Albanese’s time in Cabinet, where Labor cut funding for mental health.

In the 2011-12 Budget, Labor announced a $580 million cut to Medicare subsidised mental health services, including a reduction in the number of Medicare sessions available under Better Access from 18 to 10 per year and a reduction in Medicare rebate for preparation of mental health treatment plans by GPs.

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.

Youth Suicide Prevention Grant Recipients

ReachOut Australia

Develop and deliver two evidence-based national digital media campaigns targeting broad and at-risk youth populations (16-25) across Australia. Each campaign will be supported by a suite of digital assets including social media tiles, videos and a campaign landing page that will host dedicated web-based information, resources, and interactive content.

$1,170,000

Orygen

Extend the #chatsafe program to include: updated guidance on safe online communication about suicide and self-harm, social media campaigns targeting the general youth population, at-risk groups and school-aged young people, web-based resources and social media campaigns for families, educators, Primary Health Networks and the social media industry, webinars, training sessions and Facebook Live event.

$1,350,375

MacKillop Family Services

Support young people at risk of suicide by building the capacity of leadership and staff in Australian schools and communities to deliver the Seasons for Growth evidence-based change, loss and grief education programs.

$4,895,919

Youth Insearch Foundation (Aust) Inc.

Pilot development of a youth Lived Experience Workforce in rural communities to reduce suicide risk in at-risk youth.

$4,742,860

YOUTH LIVE4LIFE LTD

Build on the development of Live4Life, a successful, evidence-based, evaluated community impact model for improving youth mental health and reducing suicide across rural communities called. Expand to more communities and include an evaluation.

$871,163

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