The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. David Coleman MP
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Sunday 1 May 2022
ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR YOUTH-LED MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE PREVENTION INITIATIVES
The Morrison Government is continuing its support for young people with a $5.5 million investment in youth mental health organisation batyr.
batyr is a preventative mental health organisation, created and led by young people, for young people. It aims to reduce the stigma around mental illness and encourage young people to reach out for support through engagement, education and empowerment.
The new funding includes $3.8 million, delivered through the 2022-23 Budget, for batyr to expand its OurHerd digital platform. OurHerd is a free app that provides young people with a safe digital space to view and learn from positive mental health stories shared by their peers. The funding builds on the Government’s previous investment of $2.8 million through the 2019-20 Budget to develop OurHerd.
In addition, batyr will receive $1.7 million under the Government’s $114 million National Suicide Prevention and Leadership Program, which was expanded and extended in the 2021-22 Budget, to deliver the Thrive On project. This is an evidence-based, peer-to-peer mental health and suicide prevention program particularly focused on high school and tertiary education students.
The Prime Minister said that while an estimated one in four young Australians aged 16 to 24 years experienced mental illness in any given year, many do not seek help.
“Young Australians are facing more pressures than ever before, particularly as the pandemic had many feeling like they were completely alone,” the Prime Minister said.
“It is essential that we increase awareness, reduce stigma and empower young people to reach out for help.
“That’s why initiatives such as the OurHerd app and the batyr schools program are so important – they break down barriers, show young people they are not alone, and ensure more people know that help and support is available.”
Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said the additional funding for OurHerd will support approximately 60,000 young people aged 14-30 years with mild to moderate mental health needs, their families, carers and communities.
“Through peer-to-peer education and the sharing of stories of lived experience, batyr is helping more young people to get help before they reach a crisis point,” Minister Hunt said.
“This early support reduces the lifelong impacts of mental illness and saves lives.”
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention David Coleman said the funding injection backs batyr’s innovative and peer-led mental health and suicide prevention programs.
“Our Government has made mental health and suicide prevention a national priority and we are committed to ensuring all Australians, especially young Australians, can get the support they need, when and where they need it,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“Since inception, batyr has delivered over 2,500 programs reaching over 300,000 students and trained over 1,000 young people to safely share their stories of mental ill-health.
“Their approach is effective because their programs are designed by young Australians, for young Australians.”
The Morrison Government is delivering structural reform and real change in mental health and suicide prevention, and has invested $3 billion towards the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan since 2021-22.
This brings the estimated health portfolio expenditure in mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2022-23 to a record high of $6.8 billion, an increase of more than 100 per cent since we came to Government.
Unlike the Labor Party, which has not given Australians any detail on their plans for mental health, the Morrison Government will continue to ensure that all Australians can access information, advice, counselling, or treatment, when and where they need it.
Australians needing support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service any time via telephone at 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.
Anyone experiencing distress can also seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.
Young Australians needing support can access free services through Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), their local headspace or online through eheadspace.
If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.
Prime Minister’s office: Rosa Stathis, 0417 669 223
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Sydney
Press Office of the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister, Canberra