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Counselling ‘can deliver a $5 billion boost to economy’

Relationship counselling and education can deliver the Australian economy a $5 billion dollar productivity boost through increased family wellbeing, according to Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews.

Speaking at the Australian Institute of Family Studies conference in Melbourne today, Andrews said his ‘Stronger Relationships’ initiative will keep couples together and prevent family separation by giving 100,000 Australian couples $200 towards relationship counselling.

Andrews cited evidence stating a similar initiative gave a tenfold return on government investment. Early reports show that approved providers of relationship counselling, including Relationships Australia (SA), have already seen eager couples turning up to work on family relationships since the initiative launched on 1st July.

The conference also heard from Jamie Lee, Prinicipal Researcher at Relationships Australia (SA), that about a third of parents wanting mediation after separation are showing significantly increased risks of mental health problems.

Lee said, ‘This study yet again underlines the importance of early intervention in family conflict.’ He also encouraged couples and families to use the Stronger Relationships initiative at the first signs of unresolved family issues.

Find out more about Stronger Relationships.

Image: attendees at Jamie Lee’s presentation at the Australian Institute of Family Studies annual conference, held in Melbourne from 30 July – 1 August 2014.