NACCHO #HealthElection16 : Coalition invests $192 Million mental health reforms and suicide prevention


“As a society we need to be alert to mental illness and remove the taboo on discussing it, which is why we are talking more often and openly about mental health issues,” he said.

“We have to learn to recognise depression in family, friends and work mates and reach out to them – before it is too late.

“This is why my Government is investing more in mental health and making services far more accessible, including through our smart phones.

Our National Suicide Prevention Strategy will draw together the current fragmented approach to suicide prevention and build on what is working well to focus on effective strategies to prevent suicide and reduce suicidal behaviour.”

Malcolm Turnbull Coalition launch 26 June

“Investing in non-Aboriginal services and organisations to deliver Aboriginal health and social services is widely acknowledged as failed policy.

NACCHO will keep building the capacity and responsiveness of the ACCHO Sector, and work to further demonstrate that investing in self-determination, and empowering Aboriginal people delivers better health outcomes and value for money.”

Matthew Cooke NACCHO Chair

Editorial Opinion NACCHO Newspaper out 29 June

A re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will invest $192 million towards a bold package of mental health reforms to ensure help for individuals and their families across Australia, including key commitments in suicide prevention.

This is in addition to a series of important steps already undertaken in our first term, including the commissioning of regionally-delivered mental health services through Primary Health Networks (PHN’s) in partnership with state, territory and local service providers.

Our National Suicide Prevention Strategy will draw together the current fragmented approach to suicide prevention and build on what is working well to focus on effective strategies to prevent suicide and reduce suicidal behaviour.

Under a Coalition Government, we will prioritise $26 million for 10 PHN Mental Health lead sites to trial innovative approaches in mental health services. These will include establishing regional service pathways, evolving models of stepped health care and increasing use of digital technology.

Four of these locations will specifically focus on suicide prevention.

We will invest a further $24 million to add a further eight Suicide Prevention Trial sites throughout regional Australia, bringing the total number to 12.

These trial sites will build on best practice and community models and adopt new digital technologies to assist in crisis support, clinical intervention and ongoing support for individuals.

The Prime Minister said he was passionately committed to addressing the challenges of mental illness and suicide.

“And why we as leaders are talking more often and more openly about mental health.”

The Coalition will also:

  • Guarantee funding for youth mental health services, including headspace and six Early Psychosis Youth Services
  • Spend $30 million to trial new digital technologies to ensure access to mental health services wherever and whenever needed 24/7.
  • Strengthen the National Mental Health Commission, which will provide independent oversight of our mental health reforms.

Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the Coalition would also establish a $12 million Suicide Prevention Research Fund to support targeted research to develop and evaluate regional suicide prevention models and provide a best practice hub of resources.

“The Coalition Government understands the impact of depression, anxiety and poor mental health on both individuals and our productivity as a nation, is significant,” Ms Ley said.

“Our mental health reforms will result in better personalised support and care, greater opportunity and better lives for Australians.

“We are a Government that made mental health a first term priority and this announcement demonstrates our commitment to ensure it remains front and centre

Peak body welcomes Coalition plans and funding pledges to support Australians to stay alive

Suicide Prevention Australia welcomes The Coalition’s $192m suicide prevention and mental health plan announced today. This follows last weekend’s announcement of support for suicide prevention and mental health by the Australian Labor Party.

SPA CEO Sue Murray says of the announcement, “Lives depend on us recognising suicide prevention as a key national issue which requires the commitment of all parties supporting Australians to stay alive. At this time, when we face the highest suicide rate in 10 years, the commitment to funding and action is exactly what is needed.”

“The Coalition has not at this stage endorsed the goal of a 50% reduction in suicide deaths. We believe that setting this goal is essential to galvanise government, business and community action as has occurred in Scotland and other countries. That said, we welcome the commitments announced today that are, in the most part, aligned to our Election Manifesto for Suicide Prevention and the Mental Health Commission Review Report recommendations.”

Key points include:

  • $12M to establish a fund for targeted suicide prevention research, as suggested in the National Research Plan for Suicide Prevention
  • Commitment to funding 12 regional suicide prevention trials, as suggested in the National Mental Health Commissions Review
  • Support for a Crisis Text service design and trial led by SPA member Lifeline
  • Funding to open an additional 10 headspace centres to support our youth
  • Investment into Synergy project to advance technology capability
  • Continued funding for six early psychosis centres
  • Grant to College of Mental Health Nurses to fund workforce development strategy
  • National Mental Health Commission reprising its role as the independent statutory authority.

What are other parties saying about suicide prevention? Read our summary.

What are our members and colleagues saying? Read our summary.

Download the Suicide Prevention Australia 2016 Election Manifesto

New investments in mental health welcome

Mental Health Australia has welcomed today’s announcement that a re-elected Turnbull Government would make significant new investments in mental health.

“$192 million of new investment in mental health represents a welcome boost to programs and services,” said Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan.

“This kind of investment will save lives.”

“Australia faces major challenges in mental health and suicide prevention and the investments announced today will have a significant impact.”

“An independent National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) could also provide much needed accountability to a system undergoing unprecedented reform.”

Today’s announcements include the following measures:

  • Independent status for the NMHC
  • Implementation of the twelve suicide trial sites recommended by the NMHC Review
  • A new $12 million suicide research fund
  • Investment to support the further development of the Mental Health Digital Gateway
  • An additional ten headspace centres
  • Secure funding for Early Psychosis Centres until 2019
  • Funding for Lifeline for “follow up text messaging”
  • Funding for the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses to explore “workforce issues”

Mental Health Australia has updated its report card detailing the mental health commitments from all three major parties contesting the forthcoming election.

“It is encouraging the leaders of the major parties have all made specific commitments to mental health during this election campaign,” said Mr Quinlan.

Regardless of who wins the 2 July election, the process of mental health reform will require a decade long commitment to improving mental health services and programs.

Mental Health Australia’s updated report card, along with each of the parties’ full responses, can be downloaded here –


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NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper

Download a free PDF copy 29 June

Tuesday : NACCHO CEO plus The Greens

Wednesday : NACCHO Chair Matthew Cooke plus Members

Thursday : Labor Policy

Friday : Coalition Policy

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