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
Senator Greg Mirabella
Senator for Victoria
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
27 April 2022
Protecting and supporting young Australians to prevent suicides
Youth Live4Life will continue building on their successful, locally-driven, evidence-based program for improving youth mental health and reducing suicide, thanks to a $871,163 investment from the Morrison Government.
Funded through the 2021-22 Budget’s expansion of the National Suicide Prevention and Leadership Support grant programme, more than $14.7 million is being invested in projects like Youth Live4Life to reduce the risk of suicide and suicidal behaviours among young people across the country.
Senator for Victoria, Greg Mirabella said the Morrison Government recognised how important it was to give young people extra support at crucial times.
“Every life lost to suicide is a terrible tragedy and has a devastating impact on families, friends and communities,” Senator Mirabella said.
“By developing and delivering support that works for young people we can save precious lives and protect our communities from enormous suffering.”
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the funded projects will focus on young people as well as those who work with, care for and support them.
“The funding will not just support Youth Live4Life, it will also enable other groups like ReachOut Australia will deliver evidence-based national digital media campaigns targeting at-risk youth across Australia, extending Orygen’s #chatsafe program,” Minister Hunt said.
“Youth Insearch Foundation will pilot development of a youth lived experience workforce in rural communities to reduce suicide in at-risk youth, while MacKillop Family Services will work with staff in Australian schools and communities to deliver evidence-based change, loss and grief education programs.”
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the grants supported existing and successful programs as well as new and innovative approaches.
“The program reflects our multifaceted approach to suicide prevention which aims to ensure that every Australian can be supported in the way that works best for them,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“Youth mental health is a key commitment for our Government and we are prioritising mental health education, support and research to protect young Australians and help them reach their full potential.”
This funding forms part of the Morrison Government’s latest round of the newly expanded National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program, an investment of over $114 million through the 2021-22 Budget.
Suicide prevention is a key pillar of the 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 Lifeline
(13 11 14), 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.