PRESS RELEASE: AH&MRC calls on the NSW Government to address the mental health and social emotional well being needs of Aboriginal people across NSW in the upcoming budget.

UPDATED: Wednesday 18th of November 2020

In 2019 – 2020, Aboriginal people in NSW have endured displacement and destruction of their communities due to bushfires, floods, drought, and COVID-19. Aboriginal people experience these traumatic events in addition to the transgenerational trauma that exists from colonisation, loss of land and language and Cultural practices.

The Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) and its Member Services work to address the Social Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) and Mental Health needs of Aboriginal people across New South Wales. Unfortunately, not all Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in NSW have sufficient funding to ensure communities are kept safe and maintain resilience to manage the past, current, and emerging environmental challenges, and disparities.

In April 2020, The NSW Government committed an additional $73 million to mental health support packages which included: 180 additional specialist, community based mental health clinicians, expansion of the virtual mental health program to all Local Health Districts, free access to Tresillian’s digital SleepWellBaby program, 60,000 extra calls to the 1800 NSW Mental Health Line and pop-up mental health Safe Space sites. The AH&MRC, on behalf of the NSW ACCHO Sector, is calling for an increase in funding to provide and develop culturally appropriate SEWB and Mental Health services and programs.

Under the Close the Gap Agreement 2020, the NSW Government has committed to addressing the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of Aboriginal people. This is a priority area to be addressed in the initial five policy partnerships.

“Aboriginal people access culturally appropriate services through our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). It is vital for our ACCHOs as a key health service providers in NSW to be adequately resourced to provide these essential services, which is part of a holistic care model that is unique to our sector,” said Robert Skeen, CEO AH&MRC.

About us

As the Peak Body for Aboriginal Health in NSW the AH&MRC represents the rights and interests of 47 Member Services. The AH&MRC works collaboratively with the ACCHO Sector across NSW to ensure accessibility, sustainability and adequate resourcing of a skilled workforce providing comprehensive primary health care services for Aboriginal communities.

For more information or media enquiries, please contact:

Nadia Ruben
Communication and Marketing Manager AH&MRC
E: | T +61 2 9212 4777