The federal and Northern Territory (NT) governments will invest more than $ 43 million (US $ 31.8 million) in NT-wide mental health and suicide prevention over the next five years.
In a groundbreaking bilateral agreement announced on Monday, the federal government will extend these services to the most needed places, especially the group known as the “missing intermediary,” for $ 30.65 million. And promised $ 13.25 million ($ 9.8 million). Although too ill to receive effective service through the primary mental health system, it is not serious enough to access state or territory-based care.
Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Files shows that pandemics are a major challenge facing Australians today, and Northern Territory’s mental health needs are complex and in other jurisdictions. He added that it is very different from the needs of.
“We have invested heavily in mental health support across the territory, and we will continue to do so to improve our service to the people in the territory,” she said.
“Thanks to the Federation for partnering with us to make this support available to territory people.”
Funding consists of $ 15.4 million (US $ 11.4 million) for two new Head to Health Adult Mental Health Satellite Clinics and ongoing funding for existing clinics.
In addition, $ 9.3 million ($ 6.88 million) will be used to create a universal aftercare service so that all territory people discharged after an attempted suicide will have immediate follow-up care.
An additional $ 9.1 million ($ 6.73 million) will be offered to the new Head to Health Kids Hub to improve access to interdisciplinary team care for children.
In addition, $ 5.7 million ($ 4.22 million) will be used to strengthen the two headspace centers to improve access to interdisciplinary youth mental health services.
In addition, $ 3 million ($ 2.22 million) has been allocated to support perinatal mental health screening, and $ 1.3 million ($ 962,000) has access to preventive support services for all people in the suicide-affected area. Used to enable you.
Federal Minister of Elderly Care Greg Hunt said the new funding will provide NT residents with additional mental health support when and where they need it.
“This groundbreaking partnership between the Commonwealth and the Territory will have a major impact on the lives of many Australians throughout the state, including young Australians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. Told.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data It does not indicate an increase in suicide rates during the pandemic, but an increase in the level of psychological distress during a particular wave of COVID-19 and the accompanying blockade, followed by an increase in the use of mental health services. I am.
David Coleman, chief minister of mental health and suicide prevention, said the main focus of the agreement was to reduce suicide rates in indigenous communities.
“Indigenous Australians die of suicide at more than twice the non-indigenous population,” he said.
“This is a national tragedy, and through this agreement we will work closely with Aboriginal community health agencies and non-government service providers throughout the region to ensure that the relevant services are culturally appropriate. increase.”
The bilateral agreement is a $ 2.3 billion national mental health and suicide prevention agreement signed by the governments of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Northern Territory. It is part of the agreement.
The National Agreement clarifies roles and responsibilities, promotes improvement of mental health services across all age groups, improves data collection and assessment, reduces care system gaps, expands and strengthens the workforce, and mental health. The aim is to improve suicide prevention. Australians in different settings.