Lifeline calls on next Govt to adopt Greens' mental health policy

  • 12/09/2017

Suicide prevention organisation Lifeline says it hopes a major investment in youth mental health will be pushed through Parliament, regardless of who forms the next Government.

The Green Party on Monday announced it wants to roll out a $260 million policy which would increase the number of trained counsellors in schools, and fund free sessions for those under 25.

It's all part of a zero-suicide approach to mental health, with bereaved families pleading on Monday with politicians across the spectrum about the need for a system-wide overhaul.

Lifeline executive director Glenda Schnell says better supporting young people with mental health struggles is a no-brainer.

"The fact is, each of the political parties is looking at the same things around understanding there needs to be an investment in this area," she said.

Ms Schnell says she hopes the offer extends beyond face-to-face sessions.

"I think the critical aspect is young people are able to access services where they can express anguish and issues, to be able to deal with them," she said.

"In order to normalise those things, to work through complex components then allows people to move on in life."

Green Party leader James Shaw says the policy will "actually re-organise the way we do things, and the way that we resource things - because at the moment, we are just not ambitious enough".