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New suicide prevention projects to help reduce risk

Published on 23 Jul 2020

The Mental Health Commission will be working to support local communities to develop and implement a region-by-region approach to Aboriginal suicide prevention in Western Australia, after it was announced by Deputy Premier and Minister for Mental Health Roger Cook today.

Nearly $10 million has been allocated develop and implement regional plans that will prioritise Aboriginal-led and locally endorsed initiatives that accommodate a culturally informed social and emotional wellbeing approach to suicide prevention.

This includes the principles: nothing for Aboriginal people without Aboriginal people; enable Aboriginal-led solutions; and cultural understanding and respect.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said the extensive funding package will provide support to those most at risk of suicide, and will save lives.

"We have listened, we have heard you, and we are committed to working with communities to provide local solutions." 

An additional $4.79 million has also been allocated to programs to provide additional suicide prevention support to all Western Australians as part of the WA Recovery Plan, including:

  • aftercare support following a suicide attempt through a peer-based approach;
  • providing support and meeting the needs of those affected by a suicide death;
  • increasing capacity of services that provide long-term support to children who have been bereaved by a suicide death; and
  • improving community-level data collection for suicide prevention. 

The initiatives form part of the Western Australian Recovery Plan and will help address suicide risk from elevated rates of stress or anxiety, loneliness from isolation, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, unemployment, self-harm and suicidal behaviour.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our community in many ways - it has brought us together and increased wellbeing for some individuals - but it has also brought isolation, loneliness and financial challenges." Mr Cook said.

"We must support those in our community who are doing it tough and struggling during this time - including supporting those who are thinking about or have attempted suicide."

This funding is in addition to the $32.3 million announced in March to continue programs that formed part of the Suicide Prevention 2020 strategy. They will form part of the implementation of the Suicide Prevention 2025 Framework, to be launched in August.

In a crisis call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or call beyondblue on 1300 224 636 for free counselling. In a life-threatening emergency call 000 or visit your nearest emergency department.

For more information about how to help someone who is thinking of suicide, or advice to help yourself, visit mhc.wa.gov.au/suicide.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Mental Health Roger Cook greeting Mental Health Commission Elder Uncle Charlie Kickett

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