People in mandatory isolation are to have access to around-the-clock wellbeing and mental health support as part of a joint NSW and Commonwealth mental health services package.
Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet said the package would also provide increased access to services for parents, young people and multicultural communities who were struggling during the lockdown.
“Our top priority is keeping people safe during the pandemic and not just from the current COVID-19 outbreak,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We know this will be a very difficult period for many; the additional funding will provide more mental health support, particularly for young people and families,” he said.
Mr Perrottet said the joint $17.35 million package included $7 million for headspace outreach support; $3 million for Sonder to provide anyone subject to a mandatory 14-day isolation order with 24/7 support; $3 million to support culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities; $2 million for Primary Health networks to increase their mental health services; $1.5 million for Lifeline to boost crisis counselling services; $150,000 for Gidget Foundation to provide counselling services for parents suffering from perinatal depression and anxiety; and $300,000 each to Kids Helpline and the Butterfly Foundation.
Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor said the funding would enable providers to immediately increase their support during the lockdown period.
“Looking after your mental wellbeing is vital during this time and, with thousands of people and families in isolation, access to services 24 hours, seven days a week is hugely important,” Mrs Taylor said
“In the past year, we have seen a rise in self harm; we want to make sure the feeling of isolation doesn’t add to this, so this funding ensures the services can cope with increased demand for mental health support,” she said.