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United in Action to reduce suicide in Australia

United in Action to reduce suicide in Australia

More than 3000 people die by suicide every year in Australia. Reducing this alarming number requires a deep understanding of causal factors, an effective service system and a whole of government response.

Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) is calling on Australian governments, employers, schools and communities to unite in collective action with people working in and researching suicide prevention in order to reduce the country’s high rate of suicide at this year’s National Conference.

“Suicide isn’t just a health issue, it’s a whole-of-community issue,” said SPA CEO Nieves Murray. “To achieve a meaningful reduction to Australia’s high rate of suicide we need people outside of the research and suicide prevention sectors to join us in gaining a better understanding of why so many Australians are dying by suicide and how we can best prevent suicide.”

To achieve this SPA is inviting everyone with an interest in suicide prevention to attend the National Suicide Prevention Conference, to be held in Melbourne from 22-25 July 2019, in the spirit of its program theme United in Action. Ms Murray says it’s all about working together across sectors and communities, embracing diversity in suicide prevention programs and services, encouraging innovation and enhancing our evidence-base.

The four-day program includes a range of plenary sessions, concurrent presentations and networking opportunities. Plenaries this year feature international suicide prevention experts Dr Alys Cole-King, Dr Ilan H. Meyer and Dr Eduardo Vega. Presenting in conjunction with our international guests will be some of Australia’s leading suicidologists, community advocates and lived experience representatives, including Associate Professor Phil Batterham, Associate Professor Maree Toombs, Dr David Webb and Ms Jo Riley. Plenary session speakers will present on their areas of expertise and participate in facilitated discussion including questions from the audience.

Early bird registrations are available until 17 May 2019.

Also presented at the National Suicide Prevention Conference are the annual LiFE Awards, recognising outstanding contributions to suicide prevention in Australia. Every year SPA are overwhelmed with the number of quality nominations received that showcase the exciting, innovative and diverse range of work being undertaken within the field. The Awards celebrate the commitment and energy of the nominees and their vital contribution to the reduction of suicide within our communities. SPA invites nominations for an individual or organisation before 22 March 2019, here.