Prime Minister Scott Morrison has put suicide prevention as “one of my Government’s highest priorities” during the COVID-19 pandemic, unveiling more funding for mental health services. Source: The Australian.
The Prime Minister declared “help is available” as he announced an extra $5 million for youth service Headspace, $2m for Kids Helpline, $2.5m for Lifeline and $2.5m for Beyond Blue. He said Headspace should be accessed by young people who were distressed.
Mr Morrison said the funding had a particular focus on year 11 and 12 students, young people who have lost jobs and university students.
The Government has also made changes to allow Victorians an extra 10 psychological therapy sessions would be available under Medicare, adding to the 10 sessions already available per calendar year.
Meanwhile, Australia joined other nations on Tuesday to release the first International Declaration on Mental Health Crisis Care, giving healthcare leaders, governments and community organisations a blueprint for quality mental health crisis care that should be available for everyone, everywhere, every time it is needed.
The declaration says people experiencing a mental health crisis deserve a service response equivalent to that available for a physical health emergency.
It cites faith leaders and communities as being necessary in “a crisis response system so that access to compassionate, person-centred crisis care is affordable, accessible, accountable, comprehensive and rooted in best practices.”
The Catholic bishops of Australia this week released the Social Justice Statement 2020-21, on the critical subject of mental health. The Statement, To Live Life to the Full: Mental health in Australia today, encourages faith communities, governments and individuals to make mental health a priority.
Coronavirus: Funds boost for mental health (By Greg Brown, The Australian)
Bishops’ annual Social Justice Statement focuses on mental health (ACBC Media Blog)