The Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme delivered its report today.
Suicide Prevention Australia, CEO, Nieves Murray said, “The report has exposed how the Robodebt scheme’s flawed methodology contributed to immense distress and hardship, exacerbating the risk factors for suicide.
“The findings reinforce the urgent need for suicide prevention to be elevated to a genuine whole-of-government framework.
“Much of the inquiry has focused on which public servants knew the scheme was potentially illegal, and whether this was reported to the Minister. But illegality is not the only thing we want our public servants reporting on, they should also be telling Ministers about the potential risk to people’s lives where a government initiative is going to exacerbate distress.
“It’s clear that current systems do not sufficiently impose this responsibility. A National Suicide Prevention Act would ensure that every government department, whether it’s social security, housing, education, or health, looks at their policies and priorities through a suicide prevention lens. A key lesson from the inquiry should be the need for this important piece of legislation.
“Suicide Prevention Australia welcomes many of the recommendations and urges the Australian Government to respond promptly, reducing further unnecessary stress and hardship.
“We all have a role to play in making sure that this never happens again.
“The time to act is now, in order to protect vulnerable Australians.
“I remind Australians experiencing distress that there is hope – and help available right now.
“Please don’t wait to seek help. If you’re struggling now, reach out for support as soon as possible.
“We can never underestimate the impact that every life lost to suicide has on family, friends, workplaces and the broader community,” said Ms Murray.
Read the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme’s Report here.
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/
Amelia Hew 0410 591 134 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Anderson 0409 718 271 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 30 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.