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Beyond Blue set to receive $34 million funding boost

Mental Health organisation Beyond Blue is set to receive a $34 million funding boost by the Federal Government

The Federal Government has announced a $33.8 million funding boost to mental health organisation Beyond Blue to help people battling depression and anxiety.

Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, announced the two-year extension of its core funding from the Commonwealth Government. The funding will ensure Beyond Blue can continue its work around destigmatising mental health and supporting those in need.

“Beyond Blue is one of the most trusted organisations in Australia and has been providing support for and raising community awareness of, depression, anxiety and suicide since 2000,” Hunt said.

“I congratulate Beyond Blue for their ongoing leadership on mental health issues, and for their vital work helping to break down the barriers that prevent people from speaking up and reaching out for support.”

It’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

Three million people in Australia are living with depression, anxiety or both, which affects wellbeing, personal relationships and careers, and may prevent those affected from living a full and productive life.

Beyond Blue Chair, the Hon Julia Gillard AC, said of the funding announcement: “It’s now more than 18 years since Jeff Kennett founded Beyond Blue. Every day since then Beyond Blue has been working to improve the lives of millions affected by depression, and more recently anxiety, and to prevent suicide. And since day one every Commonwealth Government, no matter its political flavour, has backed this vital work. This kind of bipartisanship around such an important cause is terrific.

“I thank the Morrison Government and Minister Hunt – on behalf of the people we serve – for another two years of core funding which means we can plan ahead with confidence and have more room to innovate.”

Hunt said improving mental health services is a key pillar of the Government’s long term national health reform plan and this announcement builds on the Government’s record levels of investment.

The Liberal National Government is prioritising better mental health for Australians through an additional $338.1 million allocated in the 2018­–19 Budget and $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year.

Beyond Blue Chief Executive Officer, Georgie Harman, thanked Minister Hunt for the funding extension, saying it would help Beyond Blue reach even more people where they live, work and play.

“This renewal means we can continue – and strengthen – the initiatives that lie at Beyond Blue’s heart,” Harman said.

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