Australia

Mental health and skin cancer on agenda on Day 3 of election campaign

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On day three of the federal election campaign, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a $42.1 million boost for youth and Indigenous mental health services, with opposition leader Bill Shorten relaunching a nationwide anti-skin cancer campaign.

Mental health services for young and indigenous people will receive a boost of more than $42 million if the coalition wins the federal election.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's campaign enters its third day on Saturday, which marks five weeks until the May 18 poll.

After committing $461 million in last week's federal budget, the coalition is promising a further $22.5 million to boost its youth mental health and suicide prevention strategy.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Headspace Ashfield.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Headspace Ashfield.
AAP

The commitment includes $12.5 million to make mental health services for indigenous people more effective.

The other $10 million will be aimed at digital tools for mental health issues affecting young people including anxiety, depression, sleep problems, substance abuse, suicide and relationship difficulties.

"I want every young person in Australia to know that they are not alone and that we are committed to doing everything we can to support their mental health and wellbeing," Mr Morrison said.

"Not just as a prime minister but as a parent, I am going to do whatever it takes and whatever we can to break the curse of youth suicide in our country and ensure young people get the support they need."

The government is also pledging $19.6 million through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to prevent indigenous youth suicide, particularly in WA's Kimberley region.

In February, Coroner Ros Fogliani described the situation in the Kimberley as dire after handing down findings of an inquest into 13 youth suicides in less than four years.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten
Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten high fives young netball players during a visit to the Gosford Netball courts in Gosford, Saturday, April 13, 2019.
AAP

Labor skin cancer campaign 

A new generation of kids will learn to Slip, Slop, Slap with a revamped anti- skin cancer campaign under a Labor government.

Bill Shorten announced his plans for a rebranded skin safety campaign on Saturday, as he continues his anti-cancer election campaigning.

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Bill Shorten relaunches 'Slip, slop, slap, cancer campaign in Sydney.
Bill Shorten relaunches 'Slip, slop, slap, cancer campaign in Sydney.

"At least two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70, and more than 2200 people die from the disease each year," Mr Shorten says.

"Despite this, there's been no national investment in skin cancer prevention in more than a decade.

"The Slip, Slop, Slap slogan has been updated to seek shade and slide on sunnies - but more needs to be done."
Labor is promising $8.6 million to work with the Cancer Council Australia to relaunch a new sun protection campaign.

Mr Shorten later told a town hall meeting in Woy Woy, to much applause, that Australians' health was more important to him than "tax rorts at the top end, full stop".

Meanwhile, Mr Morrison, after doing a meet-and-greet street walk in Strathfield, travelled
to the Randwick racecourse with Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove to watch Winx run, and win, her last race.

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