RRMH welcomes new approach to suicide prevention

30 Jan 20
by Andy

RRMH welcomes new approach to suicide prevention

Rural and Remote Mental Health welcomes the government’s $64-million investment in suicide prevention and mental health initiatives.

The announcement – made today by Health Minister Greg Hunt – is an immediate response to findings from National Suicide Prevention Adviser Christine Morgan.

Ms Morgan’s initial advice comes after extensive consultation with individuals, families, communities, organisations and governments across Australia. It heralds a fundamental shift in the national approach to suicide prevention.

Ms Morgan recommends prioritising early intervention, strengthening families and communities, focusing on at-risk groups, and drawing on people’s lived experience. She also calls for a whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention, urging all government services to actively work to reduce suicide.

Rural and Remote Mental Health Acting CEO Tim Saal lauded Ms Morgan’s findings and the government’s investment.

“Suicide is a very serious community issue in Australia,” he said.

“It’s imperative that the majority of proposed solutions and responses be community-driven and community-based.

“Suicide isn’t just a clinical issue and it won’t be resolved if we focus solely on clinical interventions”.

The government’s $64-million investment will be used to immediately action Ms Morgan’s advice. The initiatives will focus on supporting some of Australia’s most vulnerable groups, including:

  • Young people, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and in regional and rural areas
  • Australians in crisis, and in need of immediate assistance
  • Australians who have been discharged from hospital after a suicide attempt
  • Families and carers who have lost a loved one to suicide

Stakeholder consultation regarding the renewed approach to suicide prevention will take place over the coming months. Rural and Remote Mental Health is committed to advocating for rural, remote and Indigenous communities.