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  • Funding boost for mental health

    Author: AAP

Victorians will get better access to mental health care as the federal government splashes nearly $250 million on more support services.

In a separate announcement, Canberra is also putting in $15 million to research the often deadly Mitochondrial disease which dramatically curbs newborn babies' life expectancy.

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The announcements mark a final burst of activity from outgoing federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, who will be retiring at this election.

It's hoped the Victorian mental health funding boost will help better target the so-called "missing middle" - people who aren't unwell enough to be hospital inpatients but need more help than what the primary care system offers.

The $247.9 million over five years includes $125.1 million for the operations of information service Head to Health, established during the COVID-19 pandemic.


It also includes $41.9 million for aftercare for people following an attempted suicide or crisis, with $2.4 million for two trial sites to reduce suicidal behaviour and $1.8 million for perinatal mental health.

"As a Victorian, I saw first-hand the effects of COVID-19 on my community and my state," Mr Hunt said.

"Today's landmark announcement ensures everyone across Victoria will have access to additional mental health support, when and where they need it."

The funding is part of an agreement with the Victorian state government.

The research funding for Mitochondrial disease is to help stop the disease before birth by looking at mitochondrial donation reproductive technology.

Mitochondrial disease impacts the body's ability to produce energy, with one baby born in Australia each week with disease that leaves them with a life expectancy of less than five years.

"This research will help ensure that young children who would otherwise be born with an inherited genetic condition that could dramatically reduce their lives, instead be able to live a rich, full life," Mr Hunt said.


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