The Victorian Coalition has promised to invest $4 million in mental health and suicide initiatives to target GLBT young people, if elected to government.

The announcement was made today as part of the Coalition’s $108.55 million commitment to improve Victoria’s mental health care.

Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said investment in mental health under the Brumby Government had been neglected.

“The Coalition’s plan will support Victorians with a mental illness in managing their illness at home or in the community, and in the process have the added benefit of reducing the demand for hospital beds,” Baillieu said of the overall package.

“The Coalition will build a new approach to improved mental health by removing the barriers to care and providing Victorians affected by mental illness with the treatment they need and deserve in hospital and in the community.”

The Opposition has also pledged $6 million will go to headspace youth mental health centres around the state.

“Same-sex attracted young people are three times more likely to attempt suicide; six times more likely in rural and regional areas,” headspace CEO Chris Tanti said.

“This is not something we can ignore.

“Headspace calls for the government to do more to address what is happening to same sex attracted young people.”

The Brumby Government last month promised a $2.5 million GLBTI funding package if returned to power after November 27.

info: headspace offers gay-friendly youth support services. Visit headspace.org.au if you or someone you know needs help.

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