The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. David Coleman MP
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister
for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
5 May 2022
Additional support for the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ communities
The Morrison Government is supporting the LGBTIQ+ community and their mental health and wellbeing, providing more than $4.2 million in additional funding for mental health and suicide prevention research, training and support services.
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 component of the NSPLSP announced today provides more than $4.2 million over three years from 2022-23 to 2024-25 for national services to support the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ Australians.
As part of this, the health peak organisation, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA), will receive over $3.7 million for four projects including:
- undertaking a multi-year campaign raising awareness of mental ill-health and encouraging people to reach out for support;
- developing new topical resources to increase awareness of best practice in working with LGBTIQ+ people across mainstream and specialist services;
- delivering a program with specialist peer supporters which enables real-time de-briefing and provision of support for people requiring additional help; and
- using large-scale datasets from LGBTIQ+ communities to provide essential insight into their experiences of mental ill-health and suicidality.
In addition, Jesuit Social Services will receive $500,000 to provide online support for people from LGBTIQ+ communities who are impacted or bereaved by suicide.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said LGBTIQ+ people experience higher rates of poor mental health and suicide than the general population.
“We know that members of the LGBTIQ+ community disproportionately experience poorer mental health outcomes and face many unique challenges that affect their emotional and mental health throughout their lives,” Minister Hunt said.
“We are committed to working with LGBTIQ+ organisations and mainstream services to ensure equitable access to the highest quality care.”
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said supporting vulnerable Australians was a key focus for the Government.
“All Australians deserve to receive compassionate and effective mental health care that meets their individual needs,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“The grants program helps expert organisations across the country to reach the people most in need of support to reduce suicides and suicidal behaviour.”
The funding builds on the Government’s significant investment in programs for LGBTIQ+ mental health and suicide prevention including:
- $7.33 million for Qlife, which provides online, telephone counselling and support services for the LGBTIQ+ community;
- $2.7 million for the MindOUT! Project, which supports LHA to work with LGBTIQ+ organisations and mainstream mental health organisations to improve mental health and suicide prevention outcomes for LGBTIQ+ Australians; and
- $7 million for qheadspace, a digital platform where gender and sexually diverse young people can connect with others and seek support within a peer-moderated online community.
Suicide prevention is a key pillar of the Morrison 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 QLife (1800 184 527, or online at www.Qlife.org.au), Lifeline (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), 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.
|LGBTIQ+ Health Australia||Use of existing large-scale datasets from LGBTIQ+ communities to provide essential insight into their experiences of mental ill-health and suicidality.||$398,799.00|
|Undertake a multi-year campaign raising awareness of mental ill-health and enabling bystander intervention and encouraging people to reach out for support. This includes: co-designing messages with people with lived experience; and responding to days of significance (i.e. Wear It Purple Day, IDAHOBIT, etc).||$737,822.00|
|Develop new topical resources that draw on most recent best practice to increase awareness in best practice in working with LGBTIQ+ people across mainstream and specialist services, including MindOut webinar and practice guidance, summaries, practical tools and fact sheets.||$918,243.00|
|Deliver a program with specialist peer supporters which enables real-time de-briefing and provision of support for people requiring additional help.||$1,674,650|
|Jesuit Social Services Limited||Deliver online discussion forums for people bereaved by suicide, with a particular focus on people who identify as LGBTIQ+ due to their higher risk of suicidality.||$516,321.00|