The Turnbull Government is extending a ground-breaking suicide prevention trial by a further year with a $13 million investment to ensure local communities have more time to trial services and report on what works.
The National Suicide Prevention Trial is based in 12 locations across Australia and will now run until 30 June 2020.
These locations have a higher than average suicide rate and this major trial aims to provide tailored support services relevant to each individual community.
Each year around 3000 Australians take their lives and the suicide rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is around twice that of non-Indigenous people.
These statistics are unacceptable and we will continue to do all we can to reverse them.
Preventing suicide is a complex problem and a one-size-fits-all strategy for dealing with the challenge may not be the best approach. This is exactly what this prevention trial is all about.
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 Melbourne.
The communities involved in these trials told us they wanted more time to trial services aimed at preventing suicide.
Each trial site will receive an extra $1 million, with mental health experts from the Black Dog Institute and the University of Melbourne also receiving additional funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the trial.
In the short term, the local communities will continue to 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.
The National Suicide Prevention Trial was launched 2016 with 12 sites, with funding of $36 million.
The program is administered by Primary Health Networks based in Darwin, the Kimberley, Western NSW, Mid-West Western Australia, Brisbane North, North Coast NSW, North Western Melbourne, Perth South, Northern Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast and Central Queensland, Tasmania and Country South Australia.
Only last week, the Turnbull Government increased mental health funding by $338.1 million in the 2018-19 Budget, boosting support for suicide prevention, research and programs for older Australians.
One life lost to suicide is an enormous tragedy and we are committed to tackling this issue by investing in research, programs and services that will provide help and hope for those in need.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Other services include the Suicide Call Back Service :1300 659 467, Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636, Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800, MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978.