The Australian Government is putting an additional $17 million towards Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS) to assist families with children and young people who are at risk of, or affected by, mental illness.
The new funding includes $8.4 million to provide a 12-month extension to the contracts of 22 FMHSS providers who work with families across Australia to 30 June 2017.
An additional $9 million over two years will also be provided to boost services to support humanitarian refugees.
FMHSS provide non-clinical, early intervention support to help children and young people aged up to 18 years, who are exhibiting early symptoms of mental ill-health such as depression, anxiety, stress or other behavioural problems.
Services help young people and their families to address the issues that impact their mental health, reducing the likelihood of young people experiencing mental ill-health later in life.
FMHSS is delivered in almost 100 high need locations across Australia, geographically covering 65 per cent of the Australian population.
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Alan Tudge, said the additional funding would help to ensure that at risk young people are supported to have the best chance of a healthy, happy and productive future.
“Many Australian children and young people who have experienced situations of conflict and trauma, including those coming to Australia as part of our humanitarian intake, may require specialised assistance.
“Around 1,000 young people will benefit from intensive one-to-one assistance, with a further 3,000 young people assisted through short-term or group activities.
“This funding will hopefully make a real difference to those families that need a helping hand,” Mr Tudge said.