1 April 2020

The NSW Mental Health Commission welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of a $1.1 Billion boost for telehealth, mental health, family supports and emergency relief, including initial funding of $74 Million for mental health services.

It is a great step forward to see the rollout of further telehealth sessions provided under Medicare and a boost to virtual outreach measures provided through Beyond Blue’s dedicated coronavirus helpline, Lifeline and the Kids Helpline. The Commission provides funding to Beyond Blue on behalf of the people of NSW and urges people to reach out to take up these new supports on offer. 

The Commission recognises that people are feeling stressed and anxious about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Not only are they facing changes in how they connect with friends and family, but their work is changing which can also mean for many people job loss and lack of financial security. Some people may find that their mental health suffers in the face of these challenges, and so it is good to know that help is at hand. 

Front line workers are also under great strain, so the news of mental health supports for them is also a great step forward.

The Commission acknowledges that people with existing mental health issues may be feeling vulnerable and alone and need additional support. “These new telehealth, online and phone supports are there for you, so please reach out. This is also important for carers and family members as well.  Stay connected where you can with your usual supports, including your mental health peer workers to keep well,” says NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey. 

Deputy Commissioner Tom Brideson welcomes the support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional wellbeing during these challenging times: “Aboriginal leaders have provided strong advice during this pandemic. Our communities have demonstrated an amazing resilience in the face of historical adversity. The new funds will provide positive messaging aimed at keeping people safe and strengthening this resilience.”

“I encourage the people of NSW to reach out to each other by virtual means, stay connected and ask for help when you need it. Please take advantage of these services and supports and look after your mental health as well as your physical health”, says NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey.

Please visit the Commission’s ‘Mental health and the coronavirus’ web page for evidence-based supports and resources.”


Media enquiries
Joanna Durney | joanna.durney@mhc.nsw.gov.au | M: 0438 769 185

Any community members who are concerned about their own or a loved one’s mental health are encouraged to speak with trusted support services such as a family GP or school counsellor.

Alternatively, find local services via Wayahead’s NSW Mental Health Service Directory  or call one of the following support lines:

  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
  • NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

About the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales
The Mental Health Commission of NSW was established under the Mental Health Commission Act 2012 and came into operation on 1 July 2012. The Commission is an independent statutory authority established with the purpose of monitoring, reviewing and improving the mental health and wellbeing of the people of NSW. In all its work the Commission aims to reflect the experience of people with lived experience of mental health issues and caring, families and kinship groups.

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Last updated: 1 April 2020