The Victorian Coalition Government has announced it will fund a dedicated worker to provide leadership for local suicide prevention activity in Casey and Cardinia.
Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge made the announcement last night at a forum of community leaders convened by a local youth suicide steering committee and attended by State Members of Parliament, the Member for Gembrook Brad Battin and the Member for South Eastern Metropolitan Region Inga Peulich.
"I am delighted to announce that the Coalition Government is committing nearly $150,000 of this year's headspace funding to a dedicated worker for suicide prevention in this local area for 12 months," Ms Wooldridge said.
"The Casey headspace co-ordinator will work closely with local youth counsellors and Southern Health clinicians to assist a greater number of young people and school communities as part of an integrated response to enhance resilience amongst young people."
Ms Wooldridge said that the Victorian Health Department is advising and working with the local steering committee in Casey and co-ordinating activity across government to provide an appropriate and integrated approach to dealing with this difficult and challenging issue.
"Along with the local councils, schools and youth services, the Health Department is supporting services to effectively respond to young people presenting with mental health issues and to minimise the risk of suicides occurring," Ms Wooldridge said.
Ms Wooldridge also launched the steering committee's youth mental health resource kit for community leaders.
"Information in the resource kit has been made available by headspace, beyondblue, ReachOut and Sane Australia, as well as a number of other local support groups.
"This resource kit is a valuable guide for the community to assist everyone to be aware of the early warning signs and how to respond appropriately," Ms Wooldridge said.