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headspace applauds mental health funding in QLD budget

National Youth Mental Health Foundation, headspace, applauds the Queensland Government's budget commitment of $8.5 million over four years to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.

headspace CEO Chris Tanti said: "Despite one in four families in Australia having a loved one with a mental health issue, stigma and discrimination against people with a mental illness persists. We know that getting help early for mental health problems can greatly improve the health outcomes for young people. But when stigma is prominent in our community, young people are less likely to seek out or use the supports available to them.

"An effective mental health policy addresses not only mental health needs, but also considers the importance of access to primary health, drug and alcohol services, educational and vocational support and encourages participation within the community. A strategy tackling the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness addresses many of these areas."

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, the Hon. Paul Lucas, confirmed today the $8.5 million commitment will support programs that reduce discrimination and encourage social inclusion for Queenslanders experiencing a mental illness. A range of stakeholders, including those currently experiencing mental illness, community mental health NGOs and professionals in the treatment sector will be invited to contribute to the development of this antistigma campaign

"Governments are now starting to understand the myriad of ways mental health can affect people and the pressure this places on our already overstretched health systems. We wait with interest to see more detail about the funding and look forward to working with the government on approaches to managing stigma and mental illness, and its affect on young people," said Mr. Tanti.

headspace has 30 centres in both regional and metropolitan Australia that offer health advice, support and information for young people. A headspace centre is a youth-friendly place where young people can seek help and confidential services which are low cost or free.

For more information about the headspace centres in Queensland, please visit headspace.org.au

headspace media contact:
Briony Walker
Mob 0402 399 746
Email bwalker@headspace.org.au