The Palaszczuk Government has today unveiled a plan to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Queenslanders by taking early action.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick also announced more than $450,000 in funding to improve mental health through greater social inclusion and community participation, particularly in regional areas.
Mr Dick said the Queensland Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Action Plan 2015-17 was another milestone in mental health reform.
It comes after the Palaszczuk Government introduced Queensland's Mental Health Bill 2015 and released a Suicide Prevention Action Plan last month.
"Maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing is important to all Queenslanders, wherever they are," Mr Dick said.
"Strong mental health and wellbeing enables us to cope with the everyday stresses of life, make a productive contribution to our community and achieve our full potential.
“But some mental illnesses can be prevented, and by acting early we can reduce the number of people who experience mental illness in our state.
“We can also support recovery, because the foundation for recovery is good mental health and wellbeing.”
Around 900,000 Queenslanders live with mental illness of differing types and severity.
“Our mental health needs are dynamic and change throughout our lives, and that is why the Action Plan focuses on supporting Queenslanders to start well, develop and learn well, work well, live well and age well,” Mr Dick said.
"It acknowledges that often our best opportunity to make a positive and meaningful difference to a person's wellbeing arises long before they ask for help.
"While we must continue our efforts to deliver quality frontline services to those experiencing a mental illness, it is equally important that we work together to promote positive mental health, prevent the onset of mental health problems where possible, and intervene early to reduce the impact and severity of mental illness.”
He said the Early Action Plan was developed by the Queensland Mental Health Commission and included commitments from a number of government departments as a first step to a more coordinated and focused approach to promoting mental health and wellbeing, and reducing the incidence and impact of mental illness.
“I fully commend the Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck and Commission staff for their great work on this important initiative,” Mr Dick said.
The Action Plan includes a grants program administered by the Queensland Mental Health Commission which has already delivered $1.48 million for local initiatives that promote good mental health and wellbeing.
Mr Dick said the grants program would benefit various communities state wide, including a number of regional areas.
“It is crucial people living in regional and rural Queensland have access to mental health and wellbeing resources and services,” he said.
“We know there are unique factors that impact those living in these geographically isolated areas, so it is vital they have mental health support in their communities, where it’s needed.”
Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck said 14 organisations out of 34 applicants would receive grants of up to $50,000 in the latest round of funding.