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Australian PM announces $ 30m funding boost for youth suicide prevention

13 Apr 2019, 09:22 ( 3 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. File Photo Xinhua.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a funding boost for the nation's youth suicide prevention plan on Saturday after the death of a young indigenous woman.

   The 18-year-old woman from the remote community of Balgo in Western Australia (WA) took her own life on Thursday. It was the 12th time an indigenous person younger than 18 died by suicide so far in 2019 in what has been called a crisis, according to the report of The Australian.

   Morrison said the funding for the suicide prevention strategy will be boosted by 42 million Australian dollars (30.1 million U.S. dollars) to a total of 503.1 million AUD (360.7 million USD).

   Of the funding, 19.6 million AUD (14 million USD) will come from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy - a 5-billion-AUD fund usually reserved for community safety, education and economic development.

   "I want every young person in Australia to know that they are not alone and that we are committed to doing everything we can to support their mental health and wellbeing," he told reporters.

   "Not just as a prime minister, but as a parent, I am going to do whatever it takes and whatever we can to break the curse of youth suicide in our country and ensure young people get the support they need."

   The plan being implemented is dependent on Morrison's Liberal-National party coalition (LNP) winning the general election on May 18, campaigning for which ramped-up on Saturday.

   Morrison was joined in by his wife, Jenny, who said that "it's so important for children to feel they can come forward with mental health issues."

   "It's so easy to see a child with a sore foot or something else, you can notice it and you can help," she said.

   "But children have to tell you or you have to notice or they have to open up in one way, shape or form to let you know that there's something else wrong.

   "We need that stigma gone. We need people to be able to come out, young ones, and there's an avenue for them to go."