COAG Mental Health - Expanding Suicide Prevention Programmes

Extended funding will enable the National Suicide Prevention Strategy to expand its mainstream awareness initiatives and locally based prevention activities for communities at risk.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • Although suicide rates have reduced, in 2004 there were still more than 2,000 deaths from suicide.
  • This initiative will enhance current suicide prevention efforts to help people at high risk of suicide by expanding national and community based projects under the National Suicide Prevention Strategy (NSPS). Initiatives will include counselling, advice and practical strategies, and support to families and communities affected by suicide or suicidal behaviour.

Who will benefit?

  • The projects target the whole population as well as groups and individuals identified as being at greater risk of suicide, including young men, rural residents, the elderly, people with substance-use problems, prisoners, people with mental illness, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The measure also targets those bereaved by suicide who are known to be at higher risk of suicide themselves.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • This measure forms part of the Government's contribution to the COAG Mental Health package, as announced on 5 April 2006.
  • $62.4 million has been allocated over five years.

What have we done in the past?

  • The NSPS began in 1999 and builds on the former National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy. The Commonwealth provides funding of approximately $10 million annually for national and community based models of suicide prevention.
  • Examples of initiatives funded under the NSPS include:
    • Wesley Mission's LifeForce Suicide Prevention Programme - education and resources for communities to be aware of suicide, recognise warning signs, intervene and prevent suicide, and refer people at risk to qualified help.
    • OZhelp Connectedness and Training in Resilience project (ACT) - a suicide prevention programme for young apprentices in the ACT construction industry
    • Ngaaminya Nginduu project (NSW)- a resilience-building programme for Indigenous youth based on a mentoring approach.
    • Suicide Intervention Training Network project (NT) - a support network to support training in suicide prevention.
    • Post Discharge Care for High-risk Psychiatric Patient programme (Qld) - trials an intensive case management service among males post discharge.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • Funding will be provided over five years to June 2011.

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