News Election 2016 Turnbull to pledge $200 million for mental health

Turnbull to pledge $200 million for mental health

Malcolm Turnbull campaign launch
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will focus on stability, economic growth and jobs in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union when he officially launches the Coalition’s election campaign today.

The Government will also pledge nearly $200 million for mental health and suicide prevention if re-elected.

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The set-piece event will be held in the Sydney electorate of Reid — the first Coalition campaign launch not held in Brisbane since 2001.

Former leaders John Howard and Tony Abbott are expected at the launch, which comes just a week from polling day.

john howard
Former PM Howard is expected to feature at the launch. Photo: AAP

“The launch will bring to a point of summation the critical choice that Australians face,” Mr Turnbull said last week.

“On the one hand, a stable Government, which I lead, which has a clear economic plan for stronger economic growth and more jobs.

“What we have on the other hand is the potential chaos of a Labor government.

“You can see the choice — stability or chaos. That is the choice.”

Liberal MP Craig Laundy holds the inner-western suburbs electorate on a margin of 3.3 per cent.

‘We need to be alert to mental illness and remove the taboo’

The Coalition will also announce $192 million for mental health, including funding for youth mental health services such as Headspace.

The funding includes $50 million towards mental health and suicide prevention trial sites, including in regional Australia.

It also involves $30 million to expand 24-hour digital mental health services.

“As a society we need to be alert to mental illness and remove the taboo on discussing it, which is why we are talking more often and openly about mental health issues,” Mr Turnbull said.

“We have to learn to recognise depression in family, friends and work mates and reach out to them — before it is too late.”

The Government will also announce nearly $50 million to help disadvantaged young people stay in school, $50 million to get more older Australians online, and more than $30 million to encourage women and girls into science, technology, engineering and maths careers.

Labor’s Qld launch to double as Medicare rally

The Opposition officially kicked off its campaign last weekend in the Penrith-based electorate of Lindsay.

But it will hold a “Queensland launch” today in Brisbane — an event that will double as a rally about Medicare.

“Mr Turnbull and his Liberals have forgotten Queensland,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said last week.

“Queenslanders deserve better and they will get it from a Shorten Labor government.”

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