Boost for mental health support services and training

·1-min read

Mental health service gaps and workforce shortages are being allocated more than half a billion dollars with more changes expected in coming years.

The $586.9 million federal budget package aims to extend critical services and address urgent gaps in supports.

More than $17 million over five years will help upskill the broader health care workforce with extra training and resources to help professionals better recognise and respond to mental health challenges.

Undergraduate curricula for nursing, midwifery and allied health students will be reviewed to make sure they are getting mental health training during their degrees.

Additional psychology placements, including 500 post-graduate places and 500 one-year internships for provisional psychologists, will cost more than $91 million over five years.

This funding will also go towards redesigning higher education pathways to psychology.

In the lead up to, during and following the referendum on the Indigenous voice, $10.5 million will be allocated to boost mental health support services for First Nations people.

Two independent, national mental health peak bodies will be established with an $8.7 million funding commitment over three years from 2023/24.

The bodies will advise the government on mental health policies and programs and support lived-experience research.

Digital mental health services will be allocated $3.1 million to help meet increased demand driven by the pandemic.

Communities affected by natural disasters will have access to extended mental health services with a $7.2 million commitment over two years.

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