Young deaf and hearing-impaired Australians will benefit from a $300,000 investment to support their mental health and well-being announced today.
The Australian Government will fund Hear For You to deliver online mentoring, collaborate with mainstream youth mental health services providers, and produce a campaign to reduce stigma and encourage deaf and hearing impaired young people to seek help for mental health issues.
Announcing the funding during a visit to Hear For You’s headquarters at the Australian Hearing Hub in Sydney, Regional Health Minister – whose responsibilities include hearing services – Mark Coulton said Government is committed to ensuring Australians who are hard of hearing get the services they need.
“The Government is committed to improving the health of all Australians, particularly the most vulnerable among us,” Minister Coulton said.
“We understand that for Australians who are hard of hearing, their health needs are not defined purely by their hearing challenges and can – just like the rest of us – benefit from support for their mental wellbeing.
“Life’s not easy when you’re a teenager and if you’re deaf or hard of hearing, it can be even trickier.
“Hear For You delivers a modern service, tailored to support improved mental wellbeing for young Australians with hearing challenges, and I am pleased to announce our support for the work they do.”
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the Australian Government recognises the cumulative impact that COVID-19, bushfires, floods, and droughts had created for many Australians.
“This funding will address the additional mental health and communications challenges that deaf and hearing-impaired young people face, such as increased levels of social isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and depression,” Minister Hunt said.
“The Government is committed to supporting all young Australians with, or at risk of, poor mental health by improving access to early intervention services and preventative mental health support.”
This announcement follows $21.2 million invested in the recent Budget to deliver key initiatives from the Roadmap for Hearing Health and an additional $485 million for mental health services and supports.