Suicide Prevention Australia welcomes the incoming Albanese government and looks forward to a productive working relationship focused on reducing distress and implementing key suicide prevention reforms.
Suicide Prevention Australia Acting CEO, Matthew McLean said, “Over the last few years, we’ve seen strong momentum and progress with the Morrison Government including record investment in last year’s Federal Budget, the establishment of a National Suicide Prevention Office and the appointment of an Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Suicide Prevention.
“Importantly during this time there has been bipartisan support for reducing suicide, and it is critical that this continues.
“The Albanese Government now takes the reins at a critical juncture for suicide prevention. Given this momentum, it is essential that the incoming government appoints a dedicated suicide prevention minister and continues the path forward,” said Mr McLean.
Mr McLean noted it was the Labor Gillard Government who first appointed a dedicated minister responsible for mental health and suicide prevention to Cabinet and called for specific suicide prevention responsibilities in the new ministry.
“We’ve seen and experienced the value of giving suicide prevention a prominent seat at the table to ensure every government decision makes a positive contribution to reducing suicide rates, and preventing them getting worse,” said Mr McLean.
“For example, we know the risk of suicide rates are often highest two to three years after a crisis, pandemic or natural disaster. We know there’s record levels of distress across our community.
“Suicide prevention must be a priority for the incoming government.
“While there has been some positive progress, there’s much more to be done in the months and years to come. We can’t take our foot off the pedal and now is the time to double-down on early progress.
“The Final Advice of the Prime Minister’s National Suicide Prevention Adviser, which was handed down over 12 months ago, outlined major and lasting reforms that are needed to deliver a connected and compassionate suicide prevention system. Some recommendations have been implemented but there is a long way to go,” said Mr McLean.
Over 45 suicide prevention organisations and suicide prevention leaders representing over 60,000 workers and volunteers called on all parties to fully implement the Final Advice.
“Implementation matters and it’s time to get on with it. All recommendations from the Final Advice must be implemented.
“There’s unfinished business when it comes to suicide prevention and the national reform agenda.
“This is a chance for the Albanese Government to accelerate progress and deliver on national, structural and much-needed reform at a time our community needs it most,” said Mr McLean.
Suicide Prevention Australia formally acknowledges and thanks the outgoing Prime Minister, Minister for Health, and Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, for the significant reforms and funding progressed under their leadership.
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
Amelia Banks 0410 591 134 or email@example.com
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.