12 June 2024

WA Government increases funding for Lifeline to improve suicide prevention

| Andrew McLaughlin
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The funding is expected to add 10 crisis support workers

The funding is expected to add 10 crisis support workers. Image: Lifeline.

The WA Government says it will provide an additional $1.1 million in funding to Lifeline WA so it can increase the number of crisis support workers during peak times and add additional training for staff who work with higher risk populations.

The funding is expected to add 10 crisis support workers to boost capacity of help lines on Saturday nights. The additional training will be provided for staff assisting victim/survivors of family and domestic violence and sexual assault, young people, the LGBTIQA+ community, people who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD), and First Nations communities.

The funding increase is part of the WA Government’s commitment to suicide prevention. Lifeline WA provides 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services via phone and online (text/online chat) platforms, and in 2022-23 provided assistance to almost 98,000 Western Australians.

In addition to the extra funding to Lifeline, the Mental Health Commission will establish a $1 million grants program to deliver community-led responses to higher risk populations.

The State Government said the grants of up to $100,000 each would be available to organisations to increase awareness of suicide prevention services, encourage conversations about suicide and increase community knowledge and participation about suicide prevention and mental health.

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Premier Roger Cook said despite suicide prevention being a whole of community issue, it affected some communities more than others.

“Sadly, victim survivors of FDV [family and domestic violence] and sexual assault, young people, LGBTIQA+ people, Aboriginal people, CaLD communities and men are at higher risk of suicide and need extra support,” he said.

“That’s why my government is committed to boosting awareness and prevention where it is needed most.

“This $1.1 million funding boost will support Lifeline WA so they can better meet the needs of higher risk groups, with an additional 10 crisis support workers on hand to help.”

Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said Lifeline WA provided a vital service to Western Australians in their time of need, and she congratulated it for its incredible contribution to the community for more than 30 years.

“Evidence suggests that especially vulnerable populations are more likely to contact crisis support services on Saturday nights and these 10 additional crisis support workers will help Lifeline WA boost their capacity during this peak time,” she said.

“As a government, we are committed to increasing access to mental health services across the state and helping Western Australians to connect with care that is tailored to their individual needs.”

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact:
Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis support line – 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800 or kidshelpline.com.au
MensLine Australia – 1300 789 978.

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