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New pop-up mental health clinics to open across Melbourne and regional Victoria

The Victorian government will spend another $22 million on mental health support to help people during the pandemic.

More than 13 million will be spent on establishing 20 pop-up mental health centres across Melbourne and regional Victoria, with 90 dedicated clinicians.

Money will also go to parenting programs for children experiencing anxiety, as well as for Indigenous organisations.

“Some Victorians have been really struggling, whether that’s through isolation, financial stress, illness and indeed loss of life or loss of a loved one,” Mental Health Minister James Merlino told reporters on Tuesday.

The Victorian government has already allocated $225 million to pandemic-related mental health.

The last state budget included $3.8 billion in broader mental health funding.

Meanwhile, data from the state’s Coroners Court shows there have been fewer suicides in Victoria compared with this time last year.

The figures show 439 people died by suicide from the start of 2021 until 31 August, a reduction from the same period in 2020, when the toll was 493.

However, there has been a slight increase in suicides in young women, with eight people aged under 18 taking their own lives.

The report cautions there may be short-term fluctuations in the data, which tend to even out over time.

The figure for this year includes 335 men and 104 women.

The Coroners Court investigates all suspected suicide deaths and releases figures each month to raise awareness.