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Published on June 20th, 2016 | by Declan Arrighi

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ALP pledges $80 million to reducing suicide rates

The Australian Labor Party yesterday announced plans to invest $80 million towards suicide prevention if they win the July 2nd election.

During his launch speech on Sunday, opposition leader Bill Shorten said his party hopes to cut the suicide rate in half and break down stigmas around mental health.

Under Labor’s plan, Mr. Shorten said $72 million would be used to introduce twelve suicide prevention programs to areas with high suicide rates. Of these twelve, an estimated three would be based in Aboriginal communities.

Mr. Shorten also said his plan will provide more support to rural areas, including drought-affected parts of New South Wales. This comes after $35 million of funding was cut from the area last month.

Despite these cuts, the Turnbull government insists that mental health is still a high priority. From July 1st, the Primary Health Network received $360 million to fund counselling services across the country. This money will be distributed to communities based on their individual needs, and is intended to put vulnerable areas first.

In 2014, Australia’s suicide rate was at its highest point in thirteen years.

 

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