The Turnbull government has announced a significant funding boost for mental health services in Australia, pledging $34 million to Lifeline and $4 million for tailored mental health support for Australians from multicultural backgrounds.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday that the government would provide $33.8 million to Lifeline, to allow the telephone crisis service to answer more phone calls.
This followed an announcement from Hunt on Friday, that the government was investing $3.9 million to deliver a new national project focused on mental health and suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
Hunt said this funding boost for Lifeline would help the organisation to support hundreds of thousands of Australians in need.
“Over 1 million Australians reach out to Lifeline each year and it receives the largest call volume of any crisis support service,” Hunt said.
“This funding will mean the charity can answer more calls, helping them answer close to 100 per cent of calls.
“Funding will also support the coaching and development of crisis supporters, equipping them with more skills to deal with the complex range of issues which can be brought up during a call.”
Lifeline welcomed the funding announcement as a “game changer for Australia’s leading suicide prevention service”.
Chairman John Brogden said the funding would directly impact the number of calls Lifeline could answer.
“This massive funding boost will help us work towards being able to answer all our calls,” Brogden said.
“This additional $33.8 million demonstrates strong leadership and commitment from the Turnbull government.
“For 55 years Lifeline has been there for Australians in crisis and at risk of suicide. We applaud this significant commitment from the government to ensure we can help save more lives and help more people find their path to recovery.” read more
Source: Probono Australia