Fresh mental health funding as NSW reports 10 COVID-19 deaths and 301 local cases

Just under 92 per cent of people in NSW aged 16 and over have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 80 per cent have had two.

The 80 per cent double vaccination coverage has cleared the way for a further easing of restrictions from Monday, including a return of community sport and dancing at hospitality venues.

Premier Dominic Perrottet revealed the target had been reached on Saturday afternoon, saying that “summer in NSW is looking good”.

It also means fully vaccinated people can have up to 20 people to their home, and 50 people can gather outdoors.

The 100-person cap for weddings and funerals will be removed, as will the five-person cap for beauticians and hairdressers.

As well, masks will no longer be required in office buildings.

Restrictions are set to remain for those who are not fully vaccinated until December.

Preschoolers and students in grades 1 and 2 are set to return to school on Monday, with the remainder to go back the week after.

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The mental health funding injection of $130 million, announced on Sunday, aims to provide more appointments for psychology and psychiatry services throughout the state, address a rise in eating disorders and self-harm presentations, and free up more mental health beds.

It will also launch what the state government describes as the biggest suicide prevention training program ever undertaken.

“We don’t want anyone to slip through the cracks but ultimately that will only go so far,” Mr Perrottet told reporters on Sunday. 

“We (also) need to look after each other to get through this difficult time.”

Some $86 million in funding has also been announced for artists, musicians, theatres, venues, festivals and cultural organisations to be delivered by Create NSW.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the stimulus would support individuals and businesses to bounce back quickly and reignite the economy through their cultural offerings.

With AAP.

Readers seeking support with mental health can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. More information is available at Embrace Multicultural Mental Health supports people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

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