Supporting mental health is a key priority of the Morrison Government, who made a $2.3 billion commitment to the sector as part of the recent 2021-22 Federal Budget.
This was inclusive of:
- More Headspace centres to support more young Australians. Expanding this model to those aged over 25, with a new Head to Health national network of 40 centres.
- Increased funding for the treatment of eating disorders.
- Greater access to psychiatrists, psychologists and GPs through Medicare.
- Universal access to care for people who have been discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt.
- A new National Suicide Prevention Office.
- A Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide.
We have nearly doubled spending on mental health since we came to office.
The world’s first National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy
1/2 of all adult mental health challenges emerge before the age of 14, yet few children below the age of 12 receive professional support.
This needs to change and it needs to change now. That is why the Morrison Government has launched the world’s first National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for children aged 0-12 and their families.
As someone who is a strong advocate for mental health and a father with children younger than 12 years of age, I am proud to be apart of a government that recognises the urgency of supporting the long term mental health and wellbeing of our little ones.
We know children are our future and this strategy proves our government is doing the best we can to support them.
This strategy is for the family members, the friends, the teachers, the sporting coaches and entire communities where our children are and the spaces they are nurtured as they grow up. It is a strategy that will benefit the lives of so many.
To learn more about the Strategy click here.
Where can I get mental health support?
During this time, many of us may be feeling overwhelmed. Please know it is OK to ask for help, there is 24/7 support available.
You can also speak to your GP about services funded under Medicare.
Our Government has and continues to invest heavily in mental health resources and services.
It is a clear national priority and goes to the heart of who we are as Australians, helping those who need it most.
Fighting for the mental health of the Bayside
In June of this year, I unveiled my plan to secure more mental health services for the Bayside.
I have recognised the need for increased mental health services across the Bayside and am eager to understand where support is needed
I’m fighting for these services in our community and for them to be convenient, affordable and without locals having to travel lengthy distances to access them.
The mental health of our community cannot be compromised and that’s why I am working hard to fill the gaps.
Progress made to date:
Stage 1: Bayside Mental Health Survey
The Bayside Mental Health Community Survey received over 500 anonymous responses in just two weeks!
It uncovered these key findings:
- 79% of Bayside survey participants had accessed mental health supports in the last 2 years.
- 60% of these mental health services were not accessed locally in the Bayside.
- 97% of the Bayside survey participants believed there was a need for more services in the Bayside.
Stage 2: Bayside Mental Health Roundtable
The Bayside Mental Health Roundtable was attended by over 40 local mental health and community providers from the Bayside.
My aim was to bring everyone together to start a conversation around mental health services in the area.
It spanned service providers, GP’s, first responders, churches, schools and more.
These individuals work across all parts of the community including (but not limited to) with children, men, women, young people, adults, older people, First Nations and LGBTQI+.
Stage 3: Taking it to Canberra
I have raised both the community survey and the Bayside Mental Health Roundtable in Federal Parliament, informing the House of the progress made so far and needs of our community.
I’ve since met with Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Hon David Coleman MP via Zoom to update him on the progress made so far, the findings and where support is needed for the Bayside.
I was incredibly encouraged to hear how supportive Minister Coleman is of this plan.
Already, Minister Coleman has taken immediate action to inform next steps so we can deliver for the Bayside.
Watch my speech in Parliament here:
Stage 4: Reconvening the Bayside Mental Health Working Group
As part of my ongoing plan to deliver more mental health services on the Bayside I reconvened the Bayside Mental Health Working Group.
The over 20 local mental health and community providers in attendance heard from Brisbane South PHN Senior HR Business Partner Melissa Binks and Head of Be Someone for Someone (Initiative of Feros Care) Joanne Winwood who presented social prescribing as an early intervention and prevention approach for youth mental health; a plan tailored to the Bayside.
Social connections are the greatest protection against depression and are proven to reduce suicidal behaviour.
I look forward to continuing to work with Brisbane South PHN, Feros and the working group on this plan for our community.
You can also contact me directly on (07) 3893 3488 if you have any questions or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.