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Audit cuts to rural SA will have human cost

Huge cuts to rural and regional services will have drastic mental health consequences if adopted by the Abbott Government, Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright has warned.

Senator Wright urged the Abbott Government to immediately reject proposals to abolish the Rural Financial Counselling Service and Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme.

"The Abbott Government must not sell out rural and regional South Australia," Senator Wright said.

"These programs have supported thousands of country families through tough times."

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Motion: Youth resilience and wellbeing

I move that the Senate:

1.       notes the 2014 Resilient Youth Australia survey's findings, that 34 per cent of girls and 28 per cent of boys in years 7 to 12 feel constantly under strain and unable to overcome difficulties;

2.       affirms that every school student in Australia should be able to access the tools to develop emotional resilience; and

3.       calls on the Commonwealth government to:

a.       facilitate nationwide monitoring of adolescents' emotional resilience and wellbeing; and

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Greens back depression support for new and expectant mums

The Abbott Government must continue to fund a critical health program for perinatal depression, says Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright.

Federal funding to the National Perinatal Depression Initiative is currently under review, with the Greens and Labor co-sponsoring a senate motion today support the program into the future.

Senator Wright said the program, which began in 2008, was providing support for mothers with antenatal and postnatal depression and improving prevention and early detection techniques.

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Motion: Perinatal depression

We give notice that, on the next day of sitting, we will move:

that the Senate:

1.       notes that the National Perinatal Depression Initiative, since 2008:

a.       has improved the prevention and detection of antenatal and postnatal depression, and provided better support and treatment for expectant and new mothers experiencing depression;

b.      in doing so, has provided what experts have called 'the ultimate two-for-one', by ensuring babies' wellbeing in the course of supporting mothers at this critical stage of life; and

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Parliamentarians rally for youth mental health

A cross-parliamentary group to raise awareness for youth mental health will launch tonight at Parliament House with the support of almost 40 members of parliament.

Established by Australian Greens mental health spokesperson Senator Penny Wright, the Parliamentary Friends of Youth Mental Health will work with mental health bodies to develop a multi-partisan understanding of the specific mental health needs of young people.

"From body image to cyber bullying, today's young people face a lot of pressures," Senator Wright said.

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Mental health review is a forerunner for cuts

A new review of mental health services will likely lead to mental health funding cuts, says Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said it was a shame Mr Dutton's first major action in the neglected area of mental health was to outline a review as a clear forerunner for cuts to the sector.

"Mr Dutton may well be Australia's quietest minister, but he's just as prepared to cut help for Australia's most needy as the rest of the Abbott Government," Senator Wright said.

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