The Morrison Government is making mental health and suicide prevention support in WA a major focus of the election campaign.
Health Minister Greg Hunt and Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister David Coleman will on Sunday pledge $35.1 million to expand services across the State over the next five years if the Coalition wins the May 21 poll.
The WA Government will also pitch in more than $26.5 million — making the total funding $61.6 million.
The agreement between the Federal and State governments will see the delivery of new support for children, help for people after a suicide attempt and new eating disorder services in WA.
Close to 200 West Australians are being admitted to hospital with mental health issues every day due to heightened levels of anxiety.
It comes after The West Australian revealed last month that close to 200 West Australians are being admitted to hospital with mental health issues every day due to heightened levels of anxiety.
According to WA Health, 154,280 people in the State turned to mental health services in the first 59 days of this year.
“This landmark partnership between the Commonwealth and WA will have a significant impact on the lives of many Australians across the State, including young Australians and children, who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Hunt said.
“It will help save lives and protect lives.”
Almost half of all Australians experience mental health issues in their lifetime, and around one in five people will experience a mental or behavioural condition each year.
More than $40 million of the funding will go to aftercare services in WA to support individuals following a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis.
Alarmingly, just 50 per cent of people nationally who are discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt receive appropriate aftercare support.
This agreement means every person in WA will have access to at least three moments of aftercare.
“We know the risk of suicide is greatest in the days and weeks following a previous suicide attempt, yet right now not everyone in this group receives follow-up care,” Mr Coleman said.
“These people are amongst our most vulnerable and through this agreement we are committing to do everything we can to support them.”
A total of $12.6 million will be used to establish a Head to Health Kids Hubs to improve access to multidisciplinary team care for children, while $8.6 million will establish a new intensive day program and a specialist multidisciplinary outpatient clinic for West Australians suffering from eating disorders.
In the 12 months to June this year, 1442 people who suffer from bulimia, anorexia, binge eating disorder and other illnesses related to body image issues turned to the WA public health system for help, which is a 20 per cent increase from the previous year.
Lifeline 13 11 14
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Butterfly Foundation 1800 334 673