Suicide Prevention Australia welcomes the announcement from National Cabinet of a new National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement.
The National Agreement has been signed by the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian, Tasmanian and Northern Territory governments.
However, with Victoria, Western Australia and ACT not yet signing the agreement, a comprehensive National Agreement is yet to be reached.
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray said, “This is good progress but there’s much more to be done. We need a true National Agreement that adopts a whole-of-government approach which is why we’re calling on the remaining governments to resolve negotiations urgently.
“There are almost ten million Australians not yet covered by this agreement, and we need this resolved as soon as possible.
“The National Agreement outlines important principles, objectives and priorities to address long-running data, workforce and system issues.
“It goes some way towards clarifying roles and responsibilities and agrees on the need to address gaps, prioritise those most-at-risk and achieve a whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention.
“This agreement is another step in the right direction, but we need to see more progress and faster.
“What matters now is that all jurisdictions deliver on their commitments in this agreement and do what’s needed to reduce distress, prevent suicide and save lives.
“We’re yet to see funding agreements in six jurisdictions and the South Australian agreement announced last week fails to deliver important suicide prevention services.
“We urgently call on the Australian Government and the remaining states and territories to resolve the agreement on a national level.
“On behalf of the suicide prevention sector, we will continue to meet with all jurisdictions to help inform and progress these reforms.
“Suicide risks don’t differentiate between Commonwealth-state jurisdictions, so we need a National Agreement that clearly outlines shared outcomes and clear responsibilities.
“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.
“A tug-of-war between governments is holding up the delivery of important investment for our community at a very crucial time in our history.
“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.
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.