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Greens back depression support for new and expectant mums

The Abbott Government must continue to fund a critical health program for perinatal depression, says Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright.

Federal funding to the National Perinatal Depression Initiative is currently under review, with the Greens and Labor co-sponsoring a senate motion today support the program into the future.

Senator Wright said the program, which began in 2008, was providing support for mothers with antenatal and postnatal depression and improving prevention and early detection techniques.

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Motion: Perinatal depression

We give notice that, on the next day of sitting, we will move:

that the Senate:

1.       notes that the National Perinatal Depression Initiative, since 2008:

a.       has improved the prevention and detection of antenatal and postnatal depression, and provided better support and treatment for expectant and new mothers experiencing depression;

b.      in doing so, has provided what experts have called 'the ultimate two-for-one', by ensuring babies' wellbeing in the course of supporting mothers at this critical stage of life; and

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Parliamentarians rally for youth mental health

A cross-parliamentary group to raise awareness for youth mental health will launch tonight at Parliament House with the support of almost 40 members of parliament.

Established by Australian Greens mental health spokesperson Senator Penny Wright, the Parliamentary Friends of Youth Mental Health will work with mental health bodies to develop a multi-partisan understanding of the specific mental health needs of young people.

"From body image to cyber bullying, today's young people face a lot of pressures," Senator Wright said.

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Mental health review is a forerunner for cuts

A new review of mental health services will likely lead to mental health funding cuts, says Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said it was a shame Mr Dutton's first major action in the neglected area of mental health was to outline a review as a clear forerunner for cuts to the sector.

"Mr Dutton may well be Australia's quietest minister, but he's just as prepared to cut help for Australia's most needy as the rest of the Abbott Government," Senator Wright said.

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100 days of mental health innaction

Despite promises to prioritise mental health in his first 100 days as Health Minister, Minister Dutton has not mentioned the words "mental health" once in Parliament, says Australian Greens mental health spokesperson Senator Penny Wright.

"At best this is another broken promise from the Abbott Government. At worst, Mr Dutton has kept his word and this is actually the most we can expect to see from him," Senator Wright said.

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Estimates: Personal Helpers and Mentors program questions

Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee 
Department of Social Services 

20 November, 2013

Senator WRIGHT: I really only have to questions, in relation to PHAMS, Personal Helpers and Mentors program. I am interested to know whether PHAMS will be funded for future services beyond the current arrangements that are in place or will the money be redirected to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. What is the future of PHAMS?

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