SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
LABOR WELCOME NEW SERVICES TO REACHOUT TO PARENTS AND CARERS OF YOUNG PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
With 25 per cent of young people in Australia experiencing mental health problems and disorders Labor welcomes the announcement today that ReachOut will expand its services to include support and information specifically for parents and carers to better allow them to help young people achieve positive mental health outcomes.
ReachOut provides an excellent trusted online mental health service utilised by more than 2 million people each year.
This expansion will provide parents with accessible information that will allow them to better support young people struggling with mental health concerns earlier and also ensure they are in a position to make sure young people get the right help at the right time.
Using technology to innovate and provide new, efficient and effective ways to deliver health programs, advice and encourage early intervention and prevention strategies is strongly supported by Labor.
Every review into our mental health system over the past few years has identified the particular vulnerability of the mental health of young people in Australia. Evidence based support services like ReachOut play an important role in identifying the mental health and wellbeing needs of young people and providing them with access to important information and advice in a free, online and safe environment.
Whilst this is a welcome announcement today it is disappointing there is still no response from the Turnbull government to the National Mental Health Commission’s extensive report into mental health programmes and services almost 12 months since that report was handed to the federal government.
Every day the government doesn’t respond to this report is another day that reform of Australia’s mental health system is delayed and too many vulnerable Australians fall through the cracks and get left behind.
Labor urges the government to prioritise mental health and provide a comprehensive response to the Commission’s report without further delay.
TUESDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2015