Date published: 
6 February 2017
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Four more regions across Australia with higher than average suicide rates will be the latest communities to take part in a $46 million trial aimed at delivering better mental health services.

The Suicide Prevention Trial Sites will be established in Darwin, Central Queensland, Western New South Wales and Mid-West Western Australia.

Each year over 3000 Australians take their lives and the suicide rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is around twice that of non-Indigenous people.

These are statistics we must reverse. As a community we must do all we can to turn the tide and reduce our suicide rate.

The Turnbull Government has committed $192 million to strengthen mental health care and suicide prevention.

These four trial sites are in addition to the eight trial sites already announced for Brisbane North, North Coast NSW, North Western Melbourne, Perth South, Townsville, The Kimberley, Tasmania and country South Australia.

Preventing suicide is a complex problem and a one-size-fits-all strategy for dealing with the challenge may not be the best approach.

We recognise that the causes of suicide and the resources needed to prevent it will vary from town to town, and from region to region.

The resources needed to tackle suicide in a regional farming community in drought may be very different to the resources needed to tackle suicide in inner city Sydney.

We are bringing together and coordinating federal, state and local governments, GPs and mental health service providers to identify issues and deliver a tailored response to a community or individual need.

Each trial site will run for three years and receive approximately $3 million.

In the short term, the local communities will benefit from better resources and services.

Over the longer term, the findings of trial sites will be used in developing future responses to suicide prevention across Australia.

Local Primary Health Networks will administer the funding and, in consultation with the local community and government, decide what services can be brought together and assess which are most effective.

Two of the trial sites will be in Indigenous communities.

Mental health is an issue that is very close to my heart and I want to be a strong advocate for greater understanding and community awareness.