The Govt Announces They're Spending $48 Million On A Mental Health Plan To Support Aussies Through The Pandemic
In a presser today (Friday), ScoMo announced that he’s committing $48.1 million to a plan that’ll provide extra support for those facing mental health issues in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, reports the ABC.
The PM then went on to tout the success of the recently ramped up ‘telehealth’ initiative (essentially clinical consultations conducted over video chat) saying it was encouraging to see that a lot of consultations have been moved online and people are still accessing that much-needed service.
OK, so what exactly is the govt's mental health plan?
It’s called the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan and it was put together by the National Mental Health Commission's CEO Christine Morgan, who worked closely with states and territory reps to do so. You can read about it in full here, and we've got the key takeaways for you below.
What do we know about the Mental Health & Wellbeing Pandemic Response plan so far?
Poor health, loneliness from isolation and anxiety about jobs and finances are some of the issues Health Minister Greg Hunt identified as key issues Aussies will be facing during the pandemic and so, from a top-line point of view, we can be fairly certain they'll all be addressed.
In terms of specifics, Morgan said substance abuse, gambling and domestic violence were key focuses of the plan too.
- A national campaign called ‘It’s OK not to be OK’, costing $10.4 million
- A $7.3 million investment in data on Aussies’ mental health, including the monitoring in potential spikes in suicide and mental illnesses
- $29.5 mill for outreach to vulnerable communities such as the elderly and Indigenous
Why is this important?
While new data from some states shows no increase in suicides in QLD, VIC and Tassie, Minister Hunt said that this could unfortunately change quite quickly, as the affects of the pandemic start to weigh more heavily. "We watch very carefully, however, because these things can build up,” he said. “They can brew, people can dwell, and so we want to get ahead of the curve."
The govt knows that people struggling to find jobs or in precarious family situations are, and will continue to be, particularly vulnerable. Investment to help us look out for those people better could make a huge difference.
if you're struggling with your mental health, there are plenty of ways to seek help. jump on over to headspace or call lifeline on 13 11 14 to speak to someone.
Main Image Credit: Licensed by Getty
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