Senate debates

Thursday, 26 June 2014


Youth Mental Health

12:45 pm

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (Victoria, Liberal Party, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—The government will not be supporting this motion. The government is committed to building a world-class mental health system that delivers appropriate services to young people experiencing mental ill health. The 2014-15 budget delivered on our commitments to find new and innovative treatments to support young people who experience mental illness, including establishing a National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health, costing $18 million over four years from 2014-15. Once established, the centre will undertake clinical trials; invest in research; provide training, support and information to mental health practitioners; and develop new ways to treat people experiencing mental ill health.

The 2014-15 budget also included development of a comprehensive e-mental health platform to make it easier for young people to access advice and support 24 hours a day, and delivers a further 10 headspace sites, which extends the total number to 100 across Australia. The government has also tasked the National Mental Health Commission to review existing mental health programs. The government wants to ensure that mental health services are delivered to those most in need and that funding is provided to those programs that have proven to be most effective on the front-line. The review should identify gaps in service delivery, inefficiency and duplication and ensure that services are being properly targeted.

In 2014-15, the Department of Health is continuing funding for 150 mental health services, suicide prevention and postvention programs while the commission's review is being undertaken. This ensures continuity of services for people who experience mental ill health while we are working to improve the system. To conflate these two issues of the chaplaincy program and youth mental health is misleading.


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