The Budget for 2024-25 was announced on 14 May and included some significant developments for suicide prevention including:

  • a new national early intervention service that anyone can access for free, whenever they need it ($163.9m)
  • an upgraded nationwide network of 61 Medicare Mental Health Centres to offer free, walk-in access to mental health care professionals for adults with more complex mental health needs ($29.8m)
  • funding Primary Health Networks to work in partnership with general practices to commission mental health workers to offer wraparound care for people with high needs in between medical appointments ($71.7m)
  • a new national peer workforce association will help to mobilise, professionalise and unlock the potential of this all-important workforce ($7.1m)

There is also enhanced mental health funding to support veterans, emergency service workers and small business owners.

The functions and funding of the National Mental Health Commission will be transferred to the Department of Health and Aged Care while consultations are undertaken for its future role. This is important because the National Suicide Prevention Office, which has led the development of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, is part of the National Mental Health Commission. The Strategy will be released for public consultation soon.

The budget also addressed some of the ‘upstream factors’ that are driving distress, with cost-of-living measures including tax cuts, energy bill relief, an increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance, reductions in the cost of medications, and waiving of student debts carried by 3 million people. A new $100 million Outcomes Fund will also be established from 2024–25 for projects that support communities experiencing entrenched disadvantage.