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Estimates: National Suicide Prevention Strategy Questions on Notice

Senate Community Affairs Committee
Health and Ageing Portfolio

Outcome 11 - Mental Health
Question No. E12-067

Senator WRIGHT: 

Over the past three years, what component of the total cost of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy has been directed towards specific rural or remote based suicide prevention initiatives (please provide both numerical and percentage values)?

Answer:

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Mental health action needs plan for success

The Australian Greens are urging the Government to build on the National Mental Health Commission's first annual Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention released today to develop concrete targets for improving mental health services.

Spokesperson on Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, welcomed the report and said the Government should also consider the unique challenges of rural and regional areas in implementing the recommendations.

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Remembering and caring for those who serve Australia: Greens

Commemorating Remembrance Day today, Australian Greens spokesperson for Veterans Affairs and Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, acknowledged the sacrifice of Australians who have died serving our country and recognised the enduring impacts of service on veterans and their families.

"As we give thanks for the generous service of our Australian Defence personnel on Remembrance Day, we should also consider the challenges faced by veterans who return home from war - and their families," Senator Wright said.

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Senator tours Queensland for rural mental health consultation

Queensland is the next stop for Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright's Australia-wide consultation about the quality of, and access to, mental health services in rural, regional and remote Australia.

Senator Wright, who is the Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, will visit Cairns, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast region over the next three days to talk to individuals and stakeholders about the challenges faced by people living in country Queensland when it comes to accessing essential mental health services.

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Greens applaud suicide assistance program

Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, today welcomed an announcement the Federal Government will invest $20 million into a headspace program to assist schools deal with suicides.

"When a young person commits suicide, it is devastating for so many people, including their peers and teachers," Senator Wright said.

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Senator tours Victoria for rural mental health consultation

Victoria is the next stop on Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright's Australia-wide tour to consult with people about the quality of, and access to, mental health services in rural, regional and remote Australia.

 Senator Wright, who is the Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, will visit Bendigo and the Gippsland region over the next two days to talk to individuals and stakeholders and learn more about the challenges faced by people living in country Victoria when it comes to accessing mental health services.

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Mental Health Nurse Program underestimated by Government

The Australian Greens are very concerned that the Department of Health and Ageing seriously underestimated service level allocations to organisations under the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program, something they have admitted during Senate estimate hearings today.

 Under the May Budget, funding of the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program was based on past service levels.  In practice, this meant that the program was paused, as organisations were informed that they were restricted to providing client services and sessions at existing levels.

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Estimates: Lifeline

Community Affairs Legislation Committee
Wednesday 17 October 2012

Mental Health and Drug Treatment Division

Senator WRIGHT: I will turn now to some questions about Lifeline. It has been reported that last year Lifeline was unable to answer 3,500 calls due to insufficient resources. That was 3,500 calls that went unanswered. Is that something the department is aware of?

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