SA to expand mental health and suicide prevention support services

South Australia is set to receive a significant boost to mental health and suicide prevention support, with over $26 million to be allocated to essential services.

South Australia is set to receive a significant boost to mental health and suicide prevention support, with over $26 million to be allocated to essential services over the next three years.

The Federal and State Government have demonstrated their commitment to the expansion by signing a bilateral schedule on mental health and suicide prevention, increasing Commonwealth funding to $92.1 million over five years.

A key focus of the investment is the establishment of the Head to Health Kids Hub, which will receive $12.3 million to provide important mental health and wellbeing support to children under the age of 12 across the state.

The initiative recognises the difficulties many families face in sourcing treatment and support, and aims to improve their access to care.

Suicide prevention services will also receive a significant portion of funding, with $13.8 million going towards different initiatives:

  • $9.2 million will be directed towards critical aftercare services for individuals following a suicidal crisis or attempt, ensuring they receive the support they need during recovery.
  • $2.5 million will go towards providing bereavement support for families and communities affected by suicide, recognising the significant impact on those affected as a result.
  • $2.1 million will fund a trial for a new model of care aimed at preventing suicidal behaviour, addressing the need for innovative approaches to suicide prevention.

The investment has come at an critical time for Australia, with statistics demonstrating the prevalence of mental illness is across the country.

Between 2020 to 2022, nearly 43% of Australians aged 16 to 85 years old experienced a mental health disorder, and one in six reported experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviours.

More than one third of Australians reported being close to someone who had taken, or attempted to take, their own life, highlighting the widespread impact of suicide on families and communities.

“The Albanese Government is committed to mental health and suicide prevention reform to ensure our system meets the needs of those who use it,” Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler, said.

“The additional funding of more than $26 million addresses gaps in the system and will help South Australians get the services and support they need where and when they need it.

“Our Government is investing in mental health services and suicide support so all Australians, no matter where they live, can access quality and affordable mental health care.”

The agreement between the Federal and State Government aims to address the gaps in mental health and suicide prevention services, fulfilling a commitment made during the 2022 election.

Both governments have pledged to improve perinatal mental health screening, recognising the importance of early intervention and support for individuals during this period.

“It’s vital that all Australians have access to the information, advice, support, and care they need,” Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Emma McBride, said.

“Today’s updated bilateral schedule with South Australia will strengthen and boost available support and care.

“Importantly, these services are being co-designed with communities to meet local needs and gaps in the service.”

The investment demonstrates the commitment of both the Federal and State Government in prioritising mental health and suicide prevention, ensuring that everyone in SA has access to the support they need.

If you need (or someone you know needs) support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or click here to access Lifeline’s website.

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