$5m to build youth e-mental health platform

The federal government has committed $5 million over three years to help fund the development of a comprehensive e-mental health platform for young people.

Federal Minister for Health Peter Dutton announced today that the money will be allocated to the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre to develop a comprehensive e-mental health platform to make it easier for young people to access advice and support 24 hours a day.

The government will also build on Labor's investment in the headspace youth mental health centres, promising to expand the number of sites around Australia to 100.

In a statement, Mr Dutton announced that the newly elected government would conduct a review of mental health services, adding to the reviews already promised for other landmark Labor policies such as the PCEHR and the NBN.

"People with mental illness deserve the same standards of access and treatment as those with a physical illness and I have asked the National Mental Health Commission to do a thorough review of all existing services, state and federal and non-government, to assess how well and efficiently they are helping their clients," Mr Dutton said.

“As part of this process, we will seek to identify gaps in both mental health research and workforce development and training. We will also consider the particular challenges of providing services in rural, regional and remote Australia.”

He also committed $18 million over four years to set up a National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health, which will be established by the Orygen Youth Health Research Centre in Victoria to conduct clinical trials.

The Young and Well CRC conducts research that explores the role of technology in young people’s lives and aims to improve the understanding of how technology can be used to improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Earlier this year, it launched a better practice guide to provide an evidence base to help health professionals and youth organisations to use technologies to engage with young people in promoting their mental health and wellbeing.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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