Extra federal funding for child mental health workforce centre welcomed

The Parenting Research Centre has welcomed the Australian Government announcement of a $110 million funding package focused on identifying and preventing mental health problems in children and young people.

The package includes a further $16 million for Emerging Minds: the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, which is a collaboration between the Parenting Research Centre, Emerging Minds, the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the Australian National University and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The program has been extended for a further two years until 30 June 2021.

The workforce centre was launched in November 2017 and provides a free online gateway to information, training and resources for professionals and services working with parents, families and children (from infancy to 12 years of age) who are at risk of developing mental health difficulties.

It is also building a national team of child mental health consultants who will work at a state and regional level to support the uptake and implementation of its workforce development learning products, practice support tools, information and resources.

The focus is to achieve early intervention by driving systems change and transforming the delivery of support services for children and their families.

Our role in this major national initiative will be to provide content development expertise and leadership in evaluation services, knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation in parenting, implementation and quality improvement.

Parenting Research Centre Acting CEO Annette Michaux said: “This further acknowledgement by the Australian Government of the importance of early intervention in preventing mental health problems is very, very welcome and critical to building a healthy future for the next generation.

“Supporting children and parents in this crucial early stage by maximising their chances of receiving evidence-based treatments and interventions will create the building blocks we need to create these healthier futures.”

Emerging Minds Chair, Phil Robinson, said: “Addressing emerging emotional and behavioural problems in infancy and childhood can reduce their immediate and short-term impact and, in the longer term, prevent mental health problems developing in adolescence and adulthood.

“We are delighted to have been awarded a further two years funding for the delivery of the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, in collaboration with our valued partners. This initiative will support staff working with children at risk of mental health difficulties and their parents or guardians, to promote children’s resilience and wellbeing.”

Learn more about the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health.