26 September 2023

Public invited to help prevent suicides

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Victorians are being called to help shape the State’s new suicide prevention and response strategy and support at-risk people by contributing to the Department of Health’s public consultation.

Welcoming the opening of consultation, Acting Minister for Mental Health, Ros Spence said the Suicide Prevention and Response Strategy, outlined in a discussion paper of the same name, aimed to identify the many factors that could contribute to, and protect against, suicide.

Ms Spence said the Strategy’s development followed a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

“More than just statistics, each loss to suicide is a beloved family and community member,” Ms Spence said.

“It affects people of all ages and backgrounds, individuals, families and friends, workplaces, schools and local communities,” she said.

“The Strategy will increase the supports and early interventions available, including to individuals and groups who may be at higher risk of suicide, and build on the existing evidence base to expand strategies that are working well.”

Ms Spence said the Royal Commission recommended a suicide prevention strategy that placed lived experience and support networks at the heart of the response, “which is why the strategy will be developed alongside people who have lived experience of suicide and their families, carers, kin and supporters.”

“While we know that health and mental health responses to suicide risk are important, the consultation will also look at other settings where we can identify and respond to suicide risk,” the Minister said.

“This includes community settings, schools, workplaces and housing and social services.”

She said Victorians could have their say on the Strategy until 29 August.

The Department’s 39-page Discussion Paper can be downloaded at this PS News link.

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