ACT Government’s mental health funding a welcome boost to support demand

Suicide prevention organisation OzHelp has received $100,000 in funding as part of the ACT Government’s $4.5 million mental health package to address increased demand
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Darren Black, OzHelp’s Chief Executive Officer, said that he is pleased the ACT Government is recognising the increasing levels of mental health support required as a result of the recent bushfires and now COVID-19.

“We acknowledge the very real challenges including financial hardship that people are facing following significant job losses and drastic changes to everyday life, which has led to higher levels of anxiety within the community.”

“As a result of the pandemic, and the uncertainty this brings, we are receiving requests for support from those who have never accessed mental health support services before.” Mr Black said.

OzHelp delivers targeted education and training to ACT workplaces that increases knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to mental health, wellness and suicide prevention.

OzHelp’s support team and counsellors offer telephone or face-to-screen support and counselling linking individuals, through appropriate referral pathways, with other services as required.

Mr Black said that OzHelp will remain vigilant and available to support not only to their traditional industry partners and their workers, but to new and vulnerable communities as well.

“This funding will support our ability to adapt quickly in response to increasing demands on telephone and face-to-screen support services, and enable us to develop new and innovative ways to deliver our training programs,” Mr Black said.

“OzHelp is grateful for the immediate Government support to help services like ours meet the changing needs of our community and vulnerable businesses.”

The ACT Government media announcement can be found here.

END

For interview:
Mr Darren Black, OzHelp Chief Executive Officer

Media Contact:
Rebecca McHarg: 0419 278 329

Established in 2001, OzHelp is a leading national not-for-profit provider of mental health and wellbeing programs and delivered awareness, education and support programs to over 40,000 people in 2019.

OzHelp is accredited under the National Standards for Mental Health Services.