The 2019 Federal Election was held across Australia on Saturday 18th of May. A topic that was covered by both parties was mental health, in particular youth mental health.
Mental Health affects a wide range of Australians. According to Beyond Blue one in seven young Australians experience a mental health condition. Evidence suggests three in four adult mental health conditions emerge by age 24 and half by age 14. The results of the election secured Liberal Party leadership, under the direction of Scott Morrison as the Prime Minister of Australia, for the next four years. So this poses the question – what does the continued Liberal leadership mean for mental health?
Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan
Under the Liberal Government there has been a proposed Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan which totals $503.1 million. The plan is the “largest suicide prevention strategy in Australia’s history”. The Liberal Party Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan focuses on:
- Strengthening the headspace network,
- Indigenous suicide prevention,
- Early childhood and parenting support.
The plan involves a range of initiatives that focuses on helping both parents of young people and youths themselves regarding mental health and suicide prevention. The funding for the plan is broken down as follows:
- $375 million to expand and improve the headspace network, the network focuses on providing youth-friendly services for the challenges facing young Australians.
- $34.1 million to strengthen Indigenous youth suicide prevention, which includes $19.6 million for measures to prevent Indigenous youth suicide.
- $11.8 million on a range of initiatives for Australian parents and their children. This will assist parents torecognise when their children are struggling
- $15 million investment on creating a new national information system.
- 20 new headspace sites across rural and regional areas and new mental health telehealth services funded through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).
The plan will also compliment the Liberal Party’s $275.5 million adult mental health and community support package. The combination of the two packages builds on the Liberal Party’s $4.8 billion investment into mental health services for this financial year.
Both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party addressed the issue of mental health throughout the election campaign. This shows the current significance and impact of youth mental health throughout Australia.
The Impact of Mental Health on Young Workers
Every generation of workers is different and has different needs. With research showing mental health impact such a large number of young people, it’s important to provide the best mental health support for your young workers.
Last year on the Tap Into Safety Blog we reviewed some previous research on Young Worker Mental Health Solutions. The research explored how effective e-mental health care is in comparison to traditional help sources. The authors argued that e-mental has a key place in young worker mental health and it represents an important form of help-seeking for young adults.
The research showed that the internet is a key medium for reaching young people as it is completely natural to young workers who are digital natives. The internet is a key part of their lives and is a predominant source of health information.
The results of the research showed that mental health issues are challenging for young people because anxiety, mood, or substance use disorders tend to be frequent (75% of lifetime cases emerge by 24 years old). Due to unsatisfactory access to mental health care, only 18-34% of young people experiencing high levels of depression or anxiety symptoms seek professional help. In the preceding 12 months, of the study’s 1,214 French participants:
- 65% reported seeking e-mental health care in case of psychological difficulties
- 7% reported psychological difficulties
They found that if personal income was a barrier to using services, it is not a barrier for internet use. Further, that young people are using online help-seeking combined with other services, not substituting online services for other resources. Young adults who reported using e-mental health care sought more help from psychologists than those without e-mental health care.
E-Mental Health Solution
Tap Into Safety offers mental health training that is delivered online and via smart devices such as your smart phone or iPad. The platform is accessible anywhere, anytime on relevant workplace topics that impact mental health. Unlike other workplace training, Tap Into Safety uses fun animation, gamification and interaction to keep users engaged and interested.
The most important aspect of mental health training is overcoming the stigma that is attached to mental health and encourage your employees to seek help when they are struggling. By being readily and discreetly available, our training assists young workers to anonymously seek help when required.
The simple pricing structure to use our training platform allows you to pay as you go and has no lock in contract, no annual license or subscription fees. Once you’re a Tap Into Safety client, your organisations employees will have continued access to our mental health support, free of charge. This includes direct links to your EAP provider, third party agencies and relevant mental health articles, support and training materials. Our aim is to work together with you to provide easy access to help for those who need it.