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New $317 million mental health scheme targets under-12s

Published: in Australian News by .

In a world-first, Australia will embark on a national children’s mental health strategy, designed to pick up the development of early mental ill-health in kids.

In a world-first, Australia will embark on a national children's mental health strategy, designed to pick up the development of early mental ill-health in kids.

Health Minister Greg Hunt and National Mental Health Commission CEO Christine Morgan made the announcement today.

"We know this pandemic has been immensely hard on the mental health of so many Australians," Mr Hunt said. 

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"But prolonged lockdowns for children, for families, for parents, have been an additional burden and so one of our prime goals right throughout the pandemic has been to provide legitimate hope that there's a light at the end of the tunnel." 

Though the strategy was conceived before the outbreak of COVID-19, Mr Hunt said it would be delivered as the pandemic continued. 

"It's goal is very simple. To provide better care, better treatment, better pathways, and additional hope for parents and for children," he said. 

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Kids birthday. cake and balloons

The strategy, which is developed for children under 12, will be backed by a $317 million funding package and a roadmap outlining how it will be used.

A particular focus will be 15 Head To Health clinics for children, around Australia.

"What we have wanted to do here is focus in on preserving (children's) mental health and wellbeing," Ms Morgan said.

"Not waiting until somebody is ill in order to intervene, but actually taking a truly preventative approach."

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However, the focus will not be on diagnosing children with mental health conditions.

"With children what we want to look at is a wellbeing continuum," Ms Morgan said. 

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"We want to say how can we help parents understand and recognise when their child is functioning well."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/childrens-mental-health-strategy-australia-world-first-launched/f8f7d143-7923-4f71-a792-9fed2258a191

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