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Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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ACT Labor make $200 million election commitment to youth mental health

ACT Labor has outlined its commitment to youth mental health across Canberra in an election promise that will see over $200 million funding towards the cause annually.

The announcement comes in the lead up to October’s 2020 ACT election, following a government survey showing more than half of young residents describing their mental health as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’.

ACT Labor leader & Chief Minister Andrew Barr said Canberra needed a progressive government to deal with the challenges as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If re-elected, ACT Labor will increase access to resources and timely care that young Canberrans suffering mental health concerns need, increasing our total mental health funding to over $200 million a year,” he said.

As part of Labor’s commitment, it will rollout Orygen Digital’s youth mental health digital platform MOST, to be available to almost 5,000 young Canberrans.

“Now more than ever, young people need opportunities to connect online. However social media use can also increase anxiety and exacerbate mental health challenges,” Mr Barr said.

“MOST provides a safe space for young people to connect with one another while receiving evidence-based support and building a personalised toolkit to boost their own resilience.”

The platform will be available to those who have accessed Headspace and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

The party has also promised to deliver on an excessive use of social media strategy and drug and alcohol abuse services. 

“We will also establish an intensive trauma service for adolescents built on the Melaleuca Place model to support the recovery of 13 to 17-year-olds who have experienced trauma, including abuse or neglect,” Mr Barr said.

“These commitments come on top of the significant investments being made to support Canberrans mental health during COVID-19. 

“Work is already underway to deliver an Adolescent Mental Health Unit and expand our mental health inpatient beds at Canberra Hospital.”

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