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We are #InThisTogether - Australians’ mental health receives $74M boost to support during COVID-19 pandemic

29 Mar 2020

Watch and share #InThisTogether videos here.

The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) has today welcomed the Federal Government’s mental health response to COVID-19, with an initial commitment of $74million, as essential mental health services and support for all Australians.

In addition, the Government has introduced telehealth measures that will ensure Australians needing mental health support can access it both online and face to face. These measures are included in a $680million Telehealth package for health and allied health workers to deliver crucial care to all Australians during this challenging time.

To complement the investment in Australians’ mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19, the Commission has today launched #InThisTogethera national online campaign which provides Australians with important mental health and wellbeing tips.

The Federal Government’s $74million mental health response today is an initial commitment including:

  • Awareness and prevention measures including a communications strategy on maintaining mental health during the pandemic
  • Early intervention measures including $10M to establish a COVID-19 support line and additional funding to expand existing support services
  • Targeted support for vulnerable Australians including:
    • a specific platform to support frontline health workers
    • expansion of the Community Visitors Scheme and Older Persons Advocacy Network for our older Australians
    • expansion of headspace Digital Work and Study Service for our young Australians
    • additional counselling services for new and expecting parents through PANDA’s National Helpline
    • development of mental health and wellbeing resources for Indigenous Australians through Gayaa Dhuwi
  • Continued support for a further 12 months for people with severe mental illness seeking to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme

The Commission is encouraging Australians to embrace the global call of #InThisTogether, and has worked closely with mental health organisations across the country and experts in the field to develop a set of practical tips to support our mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19. The #InThisTogether campaign also calls on Australians to actively follow and share the tips while remaining socially and emotionally connected with family, friends, neighbours and their community. [Download #InThisTogether materials and join the national online conversation]

The Commission’s CEO, Ms Christine Morgan, said as nation, as a community and as individuals we are facing an extraordinary time and our mental health is as equally important as our physical health during this time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, and the social and economic impacts of physical distancing and isolation measures, will have an impact our mental health and wellbeing – for some it will be more serious than others, and there are ways we can respond proactively,” Ms Morgan, said.

“The investment in Australians’ mental health and wellbeing by the Government for COVID-19 is the first and immediate response. We understand the impacts and consequences the virus is having on our lives, especially for those whose employment, financial, social and housing circumstances, and livelihoods are impacted. Now more than ever, we will need to prioritise our mental health, and there are a number of free services and supports available each and every day on the phone and online.”

The Commission’s Chair, Lucy Brogden, said the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians is a key pillar of the national response to COVID-19.

“The Government’s significant commitment to mental health during this pandemic signals to all Australians the importance the Government holds for their mental health and wellbeing,” said Mrs Brogden.

“For those of us who already live with mental ill health we will need more support now from loved ones and from professional support services. We need to care for one another, even when we are physically separated. We need to ensure that we are all OK. Through our connected strength we will come out the other side stronger. 

Connection with each other is a part of who we are, it is at the core of our community and culture, and crucial to our mental health and wellbeing. We are all In This Together.”

Media contact: Frank Coletta – 0468 987 295 

For more information about the announcement visit www.health.gov.au. 
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Helplines and Resources

If you would like to talk to someone now, you can contact:
Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Line | 1800 512 348 | coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au
Lifeline | 13 11 14 | lifeline.org.au
Kids Helpline | 1800 55 1800 | kidshelpline.com.au
Beyond Blue | 1300 22 4636 | beyondblue.org.au

Head to Health | headtohealth.gov.au
National Coronavirus Helpline | 1800 020 080

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About #InThisTogether

The National Mental Health Commission has come together with mental health organisations, experts and leaders to develop #InThisTogether – a national conversation that everyone can join in on, sharing practical tips online to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians during #COVID-19.

#InThisTogether includes videos and social media tiles to share online.

Watch and share videos here.
Download and share social media tiles below.

Thank you to participating organisations and representatives: Georgie Harman CEO, Beyond Blue | John Brogden AM Chairman, Lifeline | Ian Thorpe AM Patron and Board Member, Reachout | Benjamin Law Ambassador, Reachout | Chantel Bakac Youth Ambassador, headspace | Sam Mac Ambassador, RUOK? | Prof. Pat McGorry AO Executive Director, Orygen | Prof Helen Christensen AO Director, Black Dog Institute | Osher Günsberg Patron, SANE Australia | Prof Ian Hickie AM Director, The Brain and Mind Centre | The Hon. Greg Hunt Minister for Health | Christine Morgan CEO, National Mental Health Commission | Dr Mark Wenitong Public Health Medical Advisor, Apunipima Cape York Health Council | Lucy Brogden AM Chair, National Mental Health Commission | Jack Heath CEO, SANE Australia