YOUNG Australians and their families in the Riverina and Central West will get help where and when they need with a brand new headspace facility to be built in Cowra.

Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said supporting youth in rural and regional Australia was a key focus of the Liberal and Nationals’ Government.

“A Liberal and Nationals Government will invest an additional $375 million to expand and improve the headspace network to provide services for the challenges facing young Australians,” Mr McCormack said.

“I’m delighted that Cowra will be one of more than 20 new sites to be built in rural and regional Australia to ensure younger people living in the regions are not deprived of vital health services because they live outside of a capital city.

“We recognise that youth mental health is one of the biggest issues facing our country, particularly for the rural and regional areas we represent.

“That’s why the Liberal and Nationals’ Government is increasing its investment to more than $500 million for a Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to combat youth suicide – this represents the single largest investment in youth suicide prevention in the country’s history.”

Mr McCormack said the Liberals and Nationals’ mental health plan would also invest in preventing Indigenous youth suicide and provide support for parents and families.

“More than $19 million will be invested though the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to prevent Indigenous youth suicide in rural and regional areas,” Mr McCormack said.

“We’re also investing more than $11 million for a range of initiatives to help parents recognise when their children are struggling, improving mental health training in schools, enhance peer support networks and boost counselling support services for young people.

“I’m also proud of the fact that the Liberal and Nationals’ Government has pioneered Medicare telehealthpath services allowing Australians in rural and regional areas to access care from their homes.”

“Only the Liberal and Nationals have a strong plan for regional Australia; we know the potential of our young people living in rural and regional areas and we’ll continue to invest in vital services to ensure they continue to live and work in our local communities.”

“Our strong economic management means that we can continue to invest record funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.”

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Shane Manning