Suicide Prevention Australia welcomes the announcement of a bilateral funding agreement between the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Government which unlocks $55 million of essential funding for suicide prevention.
This will deliver much-needed funds to support those who have survived a suicide attempt but it does not include critical postvention services for those bereaved by suicide.
Under the bilateral agreement the Commonwealth will invest $45.6 million, with the Tasmanian Government providing $9.4 million.
The bilateral agreement forms part of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement (National Agreement). Suicide Prevention Australia has called for a National Agreement that delivers a whole-of-government approach, clarifies roles and responsibilities, sets clear and transparent outcomes, and ensures lived experience is at the centre.
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray said, “This agreement will funnel funding into mental health and suicide prevention support and services at a time when distress in the community is at an all-time high with record demand for services.
“The bilateral agreement between Tasmania and the Commonwealth marks the completion of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement with all jurisdictions now part of this collective effort to reduce the number of lives lost to suicide.
“This is an important milestone. The paperwork and funding allocations have been agreed. Now it’s time to focus on helping people in our communities get timely, quality and appropriate access to the support they need.
“Unfortunately, postvention services were excluded from this funding agreement. We know that those bereaved by suicide are at a much higher risk of a suicide attempt.
“Formal postvention is essential to supporting those bereaved by suicide. Continual investment in universal access to national postvention service is critical now more than ever.
“We urge the Tasmanian Government to work with the Commonwealth and ensure anyone who is bereaved by suicide has access to the postvention services they need.
“There is distress in our community as we emerge from the pandemic and face ongoing natural disasters like the recent floods and bushfires.
“The research shows that two to three years after a disaster are when suicide risks are highest, it’s critical that the National Agreement is in place to support our community at this time.
Georgie Harman, CEO, Beyond Blue, a Suicide Prevention Australia member involved in the development and expansion of aftercare services said, “Beyond Blue welcomes the Commonwealth/Tasmanian commitment to universal aftercare. We look forward to sharing with governments around Australia the insights we’ve gained from our experience developing and implementing The Way Back Support Service model at 38 locations around the country.”
Ms Murray said, “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver on national, structural and much-needed reform at a time our community needs it most.
“Let’s get it done and get it right, our communities need these services as soon as possible.
“It’s important to remember help is always available no matter who you are or what situation you are in. You do not have to go this alone. If you are feeling distress, please reach out and access the various support services that are available,” said Ms Murray.
The Tasmanian funding includes:
- $24.7 million for mental health care for adults across at three new Head to Health satellite clinics in Burnie, Devonport and Outer Hobart.
- $4.2 million to establish a new headspace centre in Rosny Park and $2.9m to boost the clinical capacity of existing headspace sites in Burnie, Devonport, Hobart and Launceston.
- $12.6 million for three Head to Health Kids Centres within Tasmania’s Child and Family Learning Centres.
- $2.5 million for the Tasmanian Government to establish and deliver three eating disorder day programs in 2022-23.
- $5.2 million for universal aftercare services to support individuals discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt.
- $3 million to support perinatal mental health screening.
To get help 24/7, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, phone 000 for emergency services.
Help to report about suicide safely is available online: Go to https://mindframe.org.au/
Clare Kinsella 0427 689 689 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Suicide Prevention Australia
Suicide Prevention Australia is the national peak body and we’ve been providing support for Australia’s suicide prevention sector for more than 25 years. We support and advocate for our members to drive continual improvement in suicide prevention policy, programs and services. Our reach is broad, including member organisations, governments, businesses, researchers, practitioners and those with lived experience. We are focused on an integrated approach to suicide prevention encompassing mental health, social, economic and community factors. We believe that through collaborative effort and shared purpose, we can achieve our vision of a world without suicide.