Budget announcements support suicide prevention

Posted 28th May 2024 in Sector news

The Australian Federal and some state and territory governments have released the 2024-25 budgets for funding towards the health sector, including the mental health and suicide prevention sector.

The Treasurer delivered the Federal Budget on Tuesday, 14 May 2024. In the address, the Treasurer recognised the impact of cost of living pressures on mental health and wellbeing, with the budget reforms aiming to support a reduction of this pressure. The budget includes $888.1 million in mental health and suicide prevention funding including:

  • $163.9 million to establish a nationwide low-intensity mental health service that anyone can access.
  • $588.5 million over eight years (and $113.4 million per year ongoing) from 24-25 to establish a national low intensity free digital mental health service.
  • $29.9 million over four years towards establishing 61 Medicare Mental Health Centres as part of a Head to Health network upgrade (Head to Health to be rebranded Medicare Mental Health Centres).
  • $71.7 million for Primary Health Networks to commission the services of mental health nurses and other allied health supports to provide free care and coordination in between GP and specialist appointments.
  • $7.1 million over four years to build and support the lived experience peer mental health workforce through the establishment of a national professional association for peer workers.
  • $29.7 million to fund the headspace Early Career Program to support models of care specific to young Australians.
  • $21 million for Primary Health Networks to continue the Targeted Regional Initiative for Suicide Prevention.
  • $10 million to the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation to boost mental health supports for First Nations People.
  • $3 million to MATES in construction to boost their Fly-in-Fly out and Drive-in- Drive out suicide prevention program.

The budget outlines actions to improve data collection around suicide prevention, announcing the collaboration with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Social Services to establish a new national data integration infrastructure for the National Disability Data Asset (NDDA), and the continuous improvement of the National Suicide and Self-Harm Monitoring project.

The budget also shares that National Mental Health Commission and the National Suicide Prevention Office, together referred to as ‘the Commission’, will be reformed to ensure transparency and accountability, and monitoring the impact of all governments’ policies and investments, improving longer term functions and outcomes.

State and territory budgets

Australian and some state and territory governments have released budgets for 2024-25.

A summary of key findings from these budgets relevant to the mental health and suicide prevention sectors are provided below:


The Victorian budget was announced 7 May 2024. Highlights include:

  • $3.8 million for suicide prevention activities targeted at preventing and responding to suicide among groups disproportionately impacted by suicide including young people, LGBTIQA+ people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria. Programs supported include through Strong Brother Strong Sister, Yarning Safe N Strong, Youth Live4Life, LGBTIQA+ aftercare, and the Peer CARE Companion Warmline service.
  • $26 million to continue the delivery of statewide community mental health programs and reforms, suicide prevention initiatives, telehealth, and provide community-based support through Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs.
  • $21 million to provide additional mental health care to regional communities through support in Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (YPARC) beds, Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs, and suicide prevention services.
  • $10 million to improve mental health and alcohol and other drug facilities across Victoria.
  • $5.4 million for a new mental health and AOD emergency department at the Ballarat Base Hospital.
Western Australia

The Western Australian budget was released on 9 May 2024. The budget includes:

  • $260 million on mental health and alcohol and other drug services, including further investment in suicide prevention initiatives
    Additional funding to provide a 75-bed public mental health system, including two floors for a dedicated women’s mental health facility, focused on eating disorder services.
  • Commencing a separate pilot partnering with the construction industry to trial gender equality targets on the Fremantle Hospital Mental Health Unit redevelopment, and extending the Gender Equality in Procurement Pilot to incorporate Government Trading Enterprises.
  • $12 million for the Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Program providing mental health support in five communities, including one youth specific program in the Kimberley, delivered by Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations.
  • $8 million for additional Aboriginal health and mental health services including suicide prevention.
Northern Territory

The Northern Territory budget was delivered on 14 May 2024.

The Northern Territory Budget has:

  • Provided an additional $5.7m in mental health spending compared to the 2023-24 budget, with the total mental health budget at $107.8m.
  • $1.76m to implement a national bilateral agreement for mental health.
  • Continued investment in Suicide Prevention Community Grants, $1.48m for youth Headspace Centres

- $2.6m for universal after-care services

- $3.7m for a new Head-to-Head Kids Hub

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory budget will be released in June 2024.

New South Wales

The NSW budget will be released Tuesday, 18 June.


The Queensland budget will be released mid-2024.


The Tasmanian budget will be released late 2024.

South Australia

The 2024-25 South Australian budget will be released Thursday, 6 June 2024.

In addition, all states and territories receive Commonwealth funding outlined in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement, and Bilateral agreements.

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