New government grant to help parents support children’s mental health
Parents of young children will get help to build their parenting skills under a new Morrison Government-funded national program grant opportunity opening today.
The Parenting Education and Support Program will enable all parents of children up to 11 years of age to develop the confidence and skills they need to support the mental health and wellbeing of their children, including identifying potential problem behaviours early.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said the program was one of a number of initiatives announced in the 2021-22 Budget in response to key recommendations and actions from the Productivity Commission’s Mental Health Inquiry Report and the Government’s world-first National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
“The Parenting Program will offer free, universal, easily accessible, and interactive online parenting education and the Morrison Government is investing $42.3 million over four years from 2021-22 to 2024-25 to make it happen,” Minister Hunt said.
“Our Government will provide funds to an organisation to deliver engaging and interactive parenting resources, strategies and learning tools for parents and carers with a child 0-11 years of age, supported by a national promotion campaign.”
“The Parenting Program will mean more confident parents and carers, and more emotionally-well and resilient children. This government grant will improve understanding of children’s mental health and wellbeing, enabling parents and carers to better identify potential behaviour problems, and when and how to access help earlier.”
“The Morrison Government is profoundly committed to protecting the mental health and wellbeing of children and their families – and I am confident the Parenting Program will fill a real need in this area.”
A national study supporting the Children’s Strategy found low levels of child mental health literacy among most Australian parents. It revealed 65% of parents in Australia are not confident they could identify the signs of social or emotional problems in their children, and 66% don’t know where to go for help.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention David Coleman said a key objective is to reduce stigma when parents and carers ask for help and support for themselves and their children.
“The Parenting Program will become the ‘go to’ online resource for people looking to improve their mental health literacy – a normal, proactive parenting option for parents and carers, both new and experienced,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“The Parenting Program will be promoted widely through schools, early learning services, child health and mental health centres, general practitioners, headspace services, Adult Mental Health Centres, Head to Health Kids Hubs and Primary Health Networks.”
“A national multi-media communication campaign will also promote the availability and value of the program, including tackling stigma around participation.”
The Morrison Government is providing unprecedented funding and support for mental health, investing a record $2.3 billion in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform.
Original content from The Hon Greg Hunt MP media page. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.