Today the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt announced a funding commitment of $350,000 to PANDA as part of a generous new $5 million funding package for mental health services in Victoria. The package aims to enhance existing digital and phone services for specific groups that are experiencing significant challenges during the restrictions in Victoria, including expecting and new parents.
“Since the start of the pandemic, PANDA’s National Helpline has seen a 20% increase in calls,” says PANDA CEO Julie Borninkhof. “This has added a strain to our specialty services which were already in great demand.”
“PANDA welcomes this increased funding from the Commonwealth Government of Australia to support expecting and new families, especially those in Victoria as they continue to struggle with the impact of COVID.”
“This funding is seen as a significant investment in the mental health of parents and will ensure that PANDA continues to deliver targeted support via our National Perinatal Mental Health Helpline.”
“This is especially important for our hardly reached communities and those who experience difficulty accessing services, such as those for whom English is their second language.”
“The funding will also support health professionals working to support people in the perinatal period who may be experiencing mental vulnerability and illness through the secondary consultation role of our National Perinatal Mental Health Helpline.”
Other key organisations to receive funding include The Butterfly Foundation, Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA), Q-Life and Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) Yarning SafeNStrong helpline.