Professor Sam Harvey, Executive Director and Chief Psychiatrist, Black Dog Institute
“We are thankful for funding to continue The Essential Network (TEN), which launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a tailored mental health service for frontline healthcare workers.
“In the wake of continuing floods and natural disasters, we welcome the expansion of the Institute’s Bush Fire Support Service to a National Mental Health Service for Emergency Service Workers and Volunteers.
“Whether it is support for health professionals navigating a period of uncertainty and change or for frontline responders in the wake of major incidents such as bush fires or floods, we are pleased the government heard our call to continue to support them and we are very proud to do so.
Colin Seery, CEO, Lifeline
“This Federal Budget prioritises the mental health needs of all Australians and acknowledges the strength of Lifeline in empowering communities to be suicide-safe through connection, compassion and hope.
“It is absolutely essential that we ensure our services have the resources they need to help all Australians who need us. In ensuring that, this contribution from the Morrison Government will save lives.”
Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer, Relationships Australia
“Relationships Australia welcomes further investment in this crucial area, but feel it is imperative that more work is done in early intervention and primary prevention, including supporting all Australians to maintain respectful relationships as an essential supportive factor for our mental health and well-being.”
Joe Ball, CEO, Switchboard Victoria
“While Switchboard Victoria welcomes the ongoing funding for mental health in the 2022 Federal Budget, key priority groups including LGBTIQA+ populations have once again been overlooked. In a conservative estimate, 10-15% of all suicide attempts in Australia are made by people who are LGBTIQA+. If the government is serious about their toward-zero suicide target, we would expect at least 15% of Commonwealth funding to go toward LGBTIQA+ peer-based and lived-experience suicide prevention programs. In this case, we received 0% of national funding.
“We need a targeted LGBTIQA+ response from the national government. More of the same has not worked, and will not work for our communities.”
Gillian Hunt, CEO, Parents Beyond Breakup
“Parents Beyond Breakup acknowledges the Federal Government’s investment in suicide prevention, however, cites Budget 2022 as a missed opportunity to target funding to those most at risk: men, LGBTIQ+ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“We cannot lose focus on those most vulnerable to suicide. Now is not the time to put the brakes on when increased funding is sorely needed.
“Parents Beyond Breakup echoes Suicide Prevention Australia’s call for further investment for those most at-risk and supports the establishment of a Suicide Prevention Act to ensure a whole-of-government approach.”
Ashley de Silva, CEO, ReachOut
“ReachOut welcomes the investments in mental health in the 2022 Budget. However, we know that the mental health impacts of COVID-19 being felt by young people across Australia right now are going to continue for years to come.
“ReachOut would like to see a stronger focus on early intervention and prevention when it comes to youth mental health. This needs to be coupled with a greater investment in developing the new, innovative services young people need to make their help seeking increasingly simple and effective before they reach a crisis.”
Reverend Stu Cameron, CEO, Wesley Mission
“The Prime Minister has said that suicide prevention is a priority for him, and implementing recommendations of the National Suicide Prevention Adviser, the Productivity Commission and the new National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement demonstrate the Government’s commitment.
“However, Wesley Mission calls for continued investment at record levels into upstream, community-led actions such as Wesley LifeForce Networks, which have proven to reduce the rate of suicide in a community by seven per cent on average, and up to 17 per cent within nine months of being established.
“The causes of suicide can relate to psychological, biological as well as social and environmental vulnerabilities. At a time when people in our communities are experiencing the long-term effects of the pandemic and facing natural disasters like floods – this is the moment to increase investment into the capacity of communities to prevent suicide deaths and strengthen the protective factors that reduce distress in the long-term.”