A new mental health program is set to be rolled out next year in an effort to combat suicide rates for Australia’s youth.
The Turnbull Government says they are investing $73 million in two new mental health programs for children from early learning centres to the end of secondary school.
BeyondBlue – partnered with Early Childhood Australia and Headspace – will run a program for pre-schoolers and children in childcare as young as three years old.
“We are not sitting down and talking to children about depression or suicide or any of those topics, we are working with educators and parents,” Early Childhood Australia CEO, Sam Page told Mamamia.
“Whereas at the other end, in the senior high school years, the program is more directly aimed at the students themselves.”
Ms Page says the program aims to provide environments that support children but the word "suicide" will not be discussed with three-year-olds.
"This isn't about teaching them about suicide at all. That's not part of the program," she said.
"It is about is teaching educators and parents how to respond to children when they're talking about death, and when they're talking about being sad and when they're having difficulty separating from their parent in the morning," she added.
Educators will be armed with tools to spot children who may need extra support.