Support for Youth and Indigenous Mental Health

TheMorrison Government is increasing funding for ground-breaking research and newservices to prevent Indigenous youth suicide under a $503.1 million YouthMental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

The highrates of mental health and suicide amongst young Australians – especially amongyoung Indigenous Australians – are one of the most significant health concernsour nation faces. Almost half of all Australians will experience a commonmental health difficulty in their lifetime, and suicide is the leading cause ofdeath for Australians aged 15 – 44 years. Three quarters of mental illnessbegins before the age of 25.

OurGovernment’s historic Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan announcedin the 2019-20 Budget is the most significant youth mental health and suicideprevention plan in our country’s history. It will provide the vital support andstrong national leadership needed to tackle the challenges of mental illnessand suicide.

Today weare further backing that plan with an additional $22.5 million for ourcountry’s best and brightest medical researchers to help find new solutions andbetter treatments for young and Indigenous Australians facing mental healthchallenges. We’re also providing $19.6 million for new services through theIndigenous Advancement Strategy to prevent Indigenous youth suicide,particularly in the Kimberley.

This newfunding brings the Government’s commitment to the Youth Mental Health andSuicide Prevention Plan to $503.1 million.

“I wantevery young person in Australia to know that they are not alone and that we arecommitted to doing everything we can to support their mental health andwellbeing,” the Prime Minister said.

“Not justas a Prime Minister, but as a parent, I am going to do whatever it takes andwhatever we can to break the curse of youth suicide in our country and ensureyoung people get the support they need.”

Of thefunding, $10 million will go to two research projects focussed on child andyouth mental health. These projects will deliver digital tools for commonissues faced by young people – including anxiety, depression, substance use,sleep problems, suicide and relationship difficulties – and will improve thetreatment and experiences of young people presenting to emergency departmentswith mental health crises.

Ministerfor Health Greg Hunt said “This work has the potential to accelerate theprogress we are making in achieving better mental health outcomes for youngAustralians. It will help protect the lives of young people, and reduce theimpacts of mental illness on individuals, their families and theircommunities.”

Thelargest part of the new funding – $12.5 million – will support three projectswhich aim to provide the knowledge and understanding to make health programsfor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people more effective.

Theseprojects will determine how best to bring social and cultural awareness tomental health services for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Theywill help support mainstream services to work better for Indigenous Australiansand will bring together multidisciplinary teams to integrate mental health,alcohol and drug, and social and cultural supports.

Ministerfor Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM said “Young Indigenous people face manybarriers to accessing health care, one of which is finding and engagingservices that are safe and tailored to meet their needs. This work will helpchange the way we deliver general mental health services so that they draw onthe value of culture, community, and country to enrich the care provided to ourFirst Nations people.”

The fiveprojects funded through this investment are the first successful initiatives ofthe Government’s $125 million Million Minds Mission, which aims to enrol amillion additional people in new trials and programs focussed on protecting themental wellbeing of Australians.

Ministerfor Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said the Morrison Government is alsomaking a new $19.6 million investment through the Indigenous AdvancementStrategy to prevent Indigenous youth suicide, particularly in the Kimberley.

“Everysingle suicide is a tragedy that hits tight-knit Indigenous communitiesparticularly hard and as Coroner Fogliani’s inquest into 13 youth suicides inthe Kimberley found, these are the result of long-term and oftenintergenerational factors,” Minister Scullion said.

“This new$19.6 million investment will help build resilience and leadership skills inat-risk communities and provide new pathways for engagement, including somewhich the Kimberley Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Forum told us are neededto support fellow young people.

TheGovernment is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with anestimated $4.8 billion expected to be spent on mental health in 2018-19 and anadditional $736.6 million for mental health announced as part of the 2019-20Budget.

Our strongeconomic management means that we can continue to invest record funding intovital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines,Medicare, and hospitals.

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