Palaszczuk Government commits ongoing funding for Kids Helpline and Lifeline

Published Thursday, 27 July, 2023 at 11:55 AM

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • $24 million has been committed to help Kids Helpline and Lifeline continue their critical services
  • The mental health support services help more than 230,000 Queensland children and adults every year
  • Funding will go toward ongoing operations and expansion of services

The Palaszczuk Government has committed $24 million towards funding Kids Helpline and Lifeline services, in Queensland.

Minister for Health and Mental Health Shannon Fentiman made the announcement at Kids Helpline’s Milton headquarters today.

Each service will receive $12 million, over the next four years, to continue providing critical support to Queenslanders experiencing mental health distress. 

The funding has been allocated from the Palaszczuk Government’s Mental Health Levy. 

The announcement comes as the Queensland Government releases an updated strategic plan to guide continued reform of Queensland’s mental health, alcohol and other drug, and suicide prevention systems.

Shifting minds: The Queensland Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs, and Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan 2023–2028 is a whole-of-government, whole-of-community plan promoting mental health and wellbeing for all Queenslanders.

The plan focuses on improving mental health, preventing and reducing problematic alcohol and other drug use, and preventing suicide.

The updated Shifting Minds plan can be found: here

Quotes attributable to Health and Mental Health Minister Shannon Fentiman:

“We know Kids Helpline and Lifeline provide critical care to children and adults experiencing mental distress, across Queensland and this funding will help each organisation meet increasing demand.

“Last year, Kids Helpline responded to nearly 30,000 contacts for help from Queensland kids and more than 200,000 Queensland adults reached out to Lifeline.

“Today’s announcement shows the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to delivering better support, better outcomes and better lives for people living with mental illness, substance use or suicidality—as well as improve the mental health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders, now and into the future.

“The release of Shifting minds 2023–2028 follows our record $1.645 billion investment towards mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and suicide prevention in the 2022–2023 State Budget.

Shifting minds 2023–2028 reinforces existing priorities and features new actions to address strategic and emerging issues.

“This includes focusing on improving the mental wellbeing of young people—one of the groups most affected by COVID-19—as well as driving a shift to community-based care, prevention and early intervention.

Shifting minds forms part of the Queensland Government’s comprehensive response to the landmark Parliamentary inquiry into mental healththe first systemic review of mental health, alcohol and other drugs and suicide prevention in Queensland.”

Quotes attributable to Chief Executive Tracy Adams:

“Demand for mental health services is at an all-time high, and this funding will help Kids Helpline assist more children and young people in Queensland, especially young people in rural and remote areas.

“Importantly Kids Helpline is free and available 24/7 across multiple channels to any young person aged 5-25, no matter where they live or whatever time of day.

“Because of the ‘always on’ nature of the service, Kids Helpline plays a significant role in providing support to young people when other services are closed.

“Currently there is a significant gap in availability of accessible mental health counselling support outside of regular 9-5 Monday to Friday, particularly in rural and remote areas.

“It is critical that when help is sought, that call for help is met – this from the Queensland Government is a show of support for children and young people across the state.”

Quotes attributable to Lifeline Australia Chief Executive Officer Colin Seery:

“This funding injection will ensure that Lifeline can deliver support to people in distress through our 24/7 phone, text and webchat services as well as on the ground in the community.

“It will mean people from all backgrounds and circumstances across Queensland can continue to access the around-the-clock support they need, in whatever way they find comfortable.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Mental Health Commission Executive Director Amelia Callaghan:

“Central to reform efforts is an ongoing drive towards a community-based mental health system that meets people where they are—early in life, early in vulnerability, and early in illness,” he said.

“The plans recognise the strong desire for collective action across all sectors and communities, and shifts the focus towards greater collaboration.”

“We look forward to continuing our work with the sector, government and non-government organisations, communities and everyday Queenslanders to implement Shifting minds 2023–2028 and Every life Phase Two over the next five years and beyond.”