Mental Health Week (October 9-15) is important – not only for the sector but for the whole community. This year’s theme is `Mental Health Begins with Me’, which reflects the fact that the week presents an excellent opportunity to increase our knowledge of mental health and wellbeing, as well as the role we can all play in reducing the stigma of people living with mental ill health.

Today I helped launch the week in Launceston and with around 60,000 Tasmanians experiencing mental ill health each year, it is imperative we use every opportunity to talk, to share ideas and encourage people to take action to look after their mental wellbeing.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to investing in mental health and that is why we invest more than $100 million each year.

As part of this commitment during Mental Health Week last year, the Government launched the Rethink Mental Health: A long-term plan for mental health in Tasmania 2015-2020.

This long term plan will help to achieve our vision for a Tasmania where all people have the best possible access to mental health services and improved mental wellbeing.

It is backed up by an additional $3 million of funding in this year’s Budget to support the implementation of key mental health and suicide prevention initiatives.

Since the release of Rethink we have made real progress on many priority action areas, including:
o increasing staffing for child and adolescent mental health services;
o increasing advocacy support for people with mental illness;
o extending mental health support in rural communities through the Rural Alive and Well Program (RAW);
o providing grassroots mental health support through Neighbourhood Houses;
o delivering men’s mental health and wellbeing through Men’s Sheds, and;
o developing new targeted and proactive suicide prevention strategies.

Mental Health Week is supported by $20,000 funding from the Government for the Mental Health Council of Tasmania to deliver a small grants program for events.

I therefore encourage everybody to think about how they can look after their own mental health, but also how they can contribute to positive mental health and wellbeing in our community.
The full program of Mental Health Week events is available online at

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