19 February 2019

A community-based youth outreach service to support young people in NSW after a suicide attempt or self-harm, and a state-wide health literacy initiative to reduce mental health stigma, will be trialled as part of a $36.7 million health boost for NSW from the Federal Government.

NSW Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies and Minister for Health Greg Hunt today announced the Health Innovation Fund would support five key health projects in total, with $9.2 million alone allocated to mental health innovation.

“One in five people will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime which is why it’s important mental health is a priority when we’re looking at new and better ways to prevent health issues,” Mrs Davies said.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is extremely pleased to have secured this funding.”

Mr Hunt said the innovative health projects will enable systemic improvements, such as support for new parents, workforce training, the exploration of genomic technologies, and addressing service gaps for high risk populations affected by mental illness.

“This funding will give NSW the opportunity to explore new ways to support health prevention and the better use of health data, aligning with the Federal Government’s Long Term Health Plan,” Mr Hunt said.

The funding builds on the NSW Government’s commitment to prevent suicide for high-risk population groups through the new Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW 2018-2023.

“Over the next three years, the NSW Government will invest an additional $90 million in suicide prevention initiatives, including appropriate emergency services for people in crisis, and activities to build greater resilience and suicide prevention skills in local communities,” Mrs Davies said.

The Federal Liberal National Government has prioritised better mental health for all Australians with $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year. In the 2018-19 State Budget the NSW Government committed $2.1 billion to mental health services and infrastructure to support people living with mental illness, their families and carers.

If you or someone you know needs help contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. For more information about mental health services in your local area phone the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.