New agreement to provide more mental health and suicide prevention services for Queensland

Date published:

April 5, 2022

Type of support:

Press release

Public:

General public

More than $260 million will be invested in mental health and suicide prevention support and services in Queensland over the next five years, following the signing of a landmark bilateral agreement between Commonwealth governments and from Queensland.

The Commonwealth will provide $150.9 million and Queensland will invest more than $109.5 million to expand mental health care services to where they are most needed.

New mental health services, particularly for people in the so-called “missing link” group, and suicide prevention services will be put in place.

Funding includes:

  • $49.9 million establish a network of new Head to Health adult mental health centers and satellites across Queensland with five new Head to Health centers and seven satellites. These new services will fill gaps in the mental health system by providing more integrated and seamless mental health care for adults and seniors. These are in addition to Queensland’s first Head to Health center which opened on January 20, 2022 in Townsville
  • $21.5 million establish two new Head to Health Kids hubs to improve children’s access to care from a multidisciplinary team.
  • $75.3 million to improve headspace centers to increase access to multidisciplinary youth mental health services in Queensland, with the Commonwealth funding the establishment of 2 new headspace sites and Queensland providing funding for clinical access to new and existing headspace sites.
  • $78.6 million expand and improve existing universal aftercare services to support people after a suicide attempt and/or a suicidal crisis.
  • $9.4 million to ensure that everyone in Queensland bereaved or affected by suicide can access postvention support services.
  • $4.9 million implement a trial distress intervention program to prevent and reduce suicidal behavior.
  • $10.3 million improve perinatal mental health screening and improve the capture and reporting of consistent national perinatal mental health data.
  • $10.5 million support other initiatives that fill gaps in the “missing middle” care system.

In addition to these initiatives, the Commonwealth and Queensland governments will significantly deepen their partnership in the mental health and suicide prevention system, through greater data sharing and service evaluation, closer integration of referral pathways and collaboration on regional planning and commissioning of service delivery.

The bilateral agreement will also strengthen and support the mental health and suicide prevention workforce, including the peer workforce.

Every day millions of Australians come into contact with the mental health system. Almost half of all Australians suffer from mental health problems during their lifetime, and around one in five people will experience a mental or behavioral problem each year.

Recent reports such as the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Mental Health survey and the National Suicide Prevention Adviser’s Final Advice have highlighted the need for reform of Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention system.

Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said this historic partnership between the Commonwealth and Queensland, along with other supporting Commonwealth initiatives, will have a significant positive impact on the lives of many people. across the state, including young Queenslanders.

“It will help save lives and protect lives.”

Queensland Minister of Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath, said demand for mental health services continued to rise.

“This is a significant investment in mental health that will expand services to those who need them most in Queensland,” said Minister D’Ath.

“This investment will complement the $1.8 billion the Queensland Government spends each year to support mental health services.”

The Prime Minister’s Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said one of the main aims of the agreement would be to help reduce the suicide rate in Queensland communities.

“As a result of this agreement, every Queenslander discharged from hospital after a suicide attempt will receive at least three months of appropriate follow-up care.

“We know the risk of suicide is highest in the days and weeks following a previous suicide attempt, but at this time not everyone in this group is receiving follow-up care. These people are among the most vulnerable and through this agreement we commit to do all we can to support them.

The bilateral agreement will contribute to the historic reform of Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention system and is part of the new national agreement on mental health and suicide prevention.

The Australian Government is implementing structural reform and real change in mental health and suicide prevention, and has invested nearly $3 billion in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan since 2021-22.

This brings estimated Health Portfolio spending on mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2022-23 to a record high of $6.8 billion.

Australians needing help throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellness Helpline anytime by phone on 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org. to

Anyone in distress can also seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or the government’s digital mental health portal, Head to Health.

If you are concerned about suicide, live with someone who is contemplating suicide or are grieving suicide, the suicide callback service is available on 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Young Australians in need of help can access free services through Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), their local headspace or online through eheadspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/).