Urgent action needed on youth mental health

23 October 2019

Urgent action is needed from the Morrison Government to address the troubling findings in the Youth Mental Health Report from Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute, released today.
The seven-year Youth Mental Health Report confirms a staggering one in four young people experience psychological distress, with the number rising year on year.
Mental health is one of the most serious and pervasive challenges facing young Australians, with suicide remaining the leading cause of death in that age group.
It is devastating that for far too many young people, mental health challenges are preventing them from living the long and fulfilling lives they deserve. 
We know early intervention is critical to give young Australians the best opportunity to live health lives and reach their full potential, with 75 per cent of mental health issues developing before the age of 25.
We also know that mental disorders are among the most common health conditions affecting children and young people
Awareness of this problem has continued to increase since the inception of the survey in 2012 and Government has done enough talking - they now need to act.
Labor supports calls from Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute to resource evidence-based programs that focus on prevention and early intervention to promote positive mental health and combat mental ill-health.
It is disappointing that, days before the release of this report, Health Minister Greg Hunt rejected a proposal from Labor for a bipartisan approach to national suicide prevention.
The window of opportunity to help our young people and give them the best possible chance to grow into healthy adults is narrow.
We urge the Government to act now and ensure young people have access to the support and services they need.