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Covid-19 mental health boost for NSW

To ensure that the people of NSW, particularly those in Greater Sydney, can access urgent mental health support during this difficult time, the Australian Government is providing an additional $12.5 million in mental health funding.

Reportedly, this funding will complement the $5.15 million to be provided by the NSW Government to boost mental health services that was also announced this week – together this package will boost existing crisis and mental health services.

The new funding package will provide additional support to young Australians, those currently in isolation and to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt MP, says that while we are fighting the spread of the virus in NSW, we also need to ensure that we’re guarding against the devastating mental health impacts the virus can bring.

“This additional mental health investment is crucial to ensuring that those in NSW can access additional support if the need it and that our services can meet increased demand and provide targeted support to those in need,” says Minister Hunt.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman MP, says this funding for NSW aligns with a similar investment for the people of Victoria made by the Morrison Government in 2020.

“We have learned from Victoria that extended lockdowns can significantly impact the mental health of our communities,” says Assistant Minister Coleman.

“The Morrison Government acted quickly to provide additional support to Victorians, and we are acting quickly to support the people of NSW, in close consultation with the NSW Government.

“This builds on the investment of more than $500 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians through the Covid-19 pandemic.”

This emergency support package follows a record $2.3 billion mental health package announced in the 2021-22 Budget. The Morrison Government has invested a record $6.5 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2021-22, doubling since 2012-13.

Reportedly, the Australian Government is also ensuring emergency relief providers in NSW have the resources to support Australians navigating the pandemic through the $200 million Community Support Package.

This includes providing food parcels or vouchers, transport or chemist vouchers, and assistance with bills.

More information on the program can be found on the Department of Social Services website at: dss.gov.au

Australians looking for support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic are encouraged to access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service anytime via telephone at 1800 512 348 or online at: coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.

Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through:

  • Lifeline (13 11 14);
  • Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800);
  • The Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.

If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or suicidecallbackservice.org.au.

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