NSW premier’s $130million mental health support package as he reinstates sign language interpreter

Dom Perrottet announces an enormous $130million mental health support package – as the NSW premier discreetly reinstates sign language interpreter for the press conference after backlash

  • NSW premier Dom Perrottet has unveiled a massive mental health package 
  • Project aims to tackle youth suicide, eating disorders and self-harm problems
  • The money will fund training for 275,000 parents, teachers and sports coaches
  • The programme aims to free up more mental health beds for critical care needs 

NSW Premier Dom Perrottet has unveiled a massive $130million mental health programme to train 275,000 people to tackle youth suicide prevention.

The package will target teachers, parents and sports coaches to train them to deal with mental health issues in teenagers. 

As well as suicide prevention, the programme will also tackle eating disorders and self-harm to free up mental health beds so they can be prioritised for critical cases.

The project will also fund more psychiatrist services and training clinical psychology masters students for youth mental health foundation Headspace.

‘The pandemic has caused immense grief to many people – young people, business owners, people who have lost their jobs, not just once but twice,’ said the premier on Sunday.

NSW Premier Dom Perrottet (pictured) has unveiled a massive $130million mental health programme to train 275,000 people to tackle youth suicide prevention

‘We had 300,000 people last year lose their job to just get back into work, and then to have lost their job again.’

‘This funding means that parents, children and the most vulnerable in our community can get the help they need now.

‘As we navigate the economic recovery from this pandemic we must also support people’s mental wellbeing along the way.’ 

The press conference announcing the cash blitz also saw the reinstatement of an AUSLAN sign language interpreter after a backlash when they were dropped by the new Premier straight after he took office.

How the NSW $130million mental health package will be spent

 $35 million over two years to boost the surge capacity of the mental health clinical workforce. NSW Health will be able to access privately practising psychologists and psychiatrists and other mental health professionals for NSW residents to create an extra 60,000 psychiatry consultations and 85,000 consults with other mental health professionals, including psychologists.

$20 million over 18 months to provide up to 55,000 additional services to young people through their local Headspace centre. It will also enable masters and doctorate psychology students (clinical and general registration) and social work and occupational therapy students (pre-registration/masters) to undertake placements at Headspace centres. Overseen by clinical educators, students will conduct comprehensive mental health assessments and deliver clinical sessions for young people.

$14 million over two years to train 275,000 people across NSW in suicide prevention training. The training will target high school teachers and support staff; parents; youth influencers (e.g. sports coaches, club managers); community groups, and peer leaders.

$21 million over four years to employ 18 FTE Aboriginal Care Navigators and 18 FTE Aboriginal Peer Workers across NSW. These roles will link Aboriginal Australians to a range of culturally-appropriate mental health and suicide prevention services.

$16.5 million over four years to address the increase in eating disorder presentations. This funding will increase frontline workforce capacity to recognise and respond to eating disorder presentations. It will also fund the Butterfly Foundation to admit NSW residents into its national eating disorders centre at Wandi Nerida in Queensland.

$6 million over two years to build the capacity of caseworkers and casework managers to provide support to child protection practitioners at high risk of trauma.

$5 million over two years to fund a grants program for local community wellbeing events.

$3 million over one year to assist NSW sporting bodies to deliver mental health and wellbeing initiatives.

$3 million over one year to provide access to private beds for 12–24-year-olds experiencing complex trauma and eating disorders. This will be trialled in South Western Sydney Local Health District.

$2.6 million over two years to expand Gidget Foundation’s services and provide an extra 280 psychological sessions every month.

$3.2 million over four years to establish a Multicultural Mental Health Line – a NSW first.

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