Policy report
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Building mentally healthy futures: Australian youth recovery plan

Policy paper from Australia’s Mental Health Think Tank
Australian federal election 2022 Mental health promotion Social connection Evidence-based policy Family services Mental health Youth Australia

Australia’s Mental Health Think Tank has combined the best evidence, together with lived experience accounts to propose the recommendations outlined in this paper. This policy paper focuses on actionable, evidence-based steps a newly elected federal government can take to address the current youth mental health crisis.

The recommendations included in this policy paper have three overarching goals – to address the economic, social, and support access drivers of youth mental health – achieved via eight feasible and impactful recommendations:

  1. Increase income support payments for those on youth allowance, JobSeeker, AusStudy, ABStudy living allowance and the Disability Support Pension back to levels achieved with the Coronavirus Supplement.
  2. Introduce federally-funded grants and scholarships for young people experiencing disadvantage to access tertiary education, training and work placements.
  3. Adopt a social connection and social and emotional wellbeing lens on policies.
  4. Community-led infrastructure and projects to facilitate social connection, particularly targeting youth- and family-oriented projects.
  5. Scale up evidence-based digital resources for youth mental health.
  6. Double the number of Commonwealth Supported Places for psychology, mental health nursing and other allied mental health professions, and with a focus on improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation.
  7. Increase subsidised and/or paid placements of psychology, mental health nursing, psychiatry, peer support workers and other allied health professions.
  8. Increase incentives, public-sector salary loading or similar for discipline-specific supervision in mental health tertiary training programs.
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