Twelve months ago the Final Advice of the Prime Minister’s National Suicide Prevention Adviser, Ms Christine Morgan, was released.
The Final Advice was the culmination of 18 months of engagement across Government, the suicide prevention sector, researchers and communities. Its findings were strongly supported across the suicide prevention sector.
Over 3,000 people with lived and living experience of suicide shared their insights and knowledge to inform this report. Many who have had thoughts of suicide or attempted suicide, carers and those who are bereaved courageously shared their experience for the first time to guide these reforms.
To drive change, the Final Advice identified four key enablers: a whole-of-government approach, lived experience knowledge and insight, data and evidence to drive outcomes and workforce and community capability. This aligns with Suicide Prevention Australia National Policy Platform.
Four further priority shifts were also recommended: responding earlier to distress, connecting people to compassionate services and supports, targeting groups that are disproportionately affected by suicide and delivering policy responses that improve security and safety.
Recommendations and priorities are outlined across each of these shifts and enablers. Some progress has already been made in several of these priorities. Going forward, there is more to be done to deliver a connected and compassionate approach to suicide prevention in Australia. There is a particular need to partner with those disproportionately impacted by suicide in our community and to support those most at-risk.
Research shows the risk of suicide can increase two to three years after a crisis. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, a recession and a series of natural disasters, it’s a critical opportunity to prevent suicide across our community.
The Final Advice provides us a clear roadmap for reform. It builds on countless inquiries, plans and reviews over recent decades. Now is the time for action and to implement the changes we know are required to drive down suicide rates.
On the one-year anniversary of the Final Advice and during a federal election campaign, we urge all parties to commit to fully fund and implement the recommendations of the Final Advice.
On behalf of the suicide prevention sector, we are calling for all parties to commit to full and accelerated implementation of all recommendations in the Final Advice. It’s time to finish the Final Advice. Together we can save lives.
Signed and supported by the following members of Suicide Prevention Australia: