Media Release: Australia’s peak suicide prevention body calls for establishment of National Office for Suicide Prevention

24 May 2016

Australia’s peak suicide prevention body calls for establishment of National Office for Suicide Prevention Suicide Prevention Australia is calling on the 45th Parliament to step up to its responsibilities, show national leadership and cease the piecemeal approach that has led to the concerning suicide rates published today across 28 electorates.

“In July the newly elected government needs to establish a National Office for Suicide Prevention within the Department of Health with a remit to secure cross-portfolio approaches to suicide prevention, coordinate data collection and to give priority attention to this significant and complex social issue,” said Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Sue Murray.

“Within a year of the election SPA wants to see legislation tabled for a National Suicide Prevention Act that requires government to provide evaluation reports to the Parliament at least every 3 years. “The regional approach that allows for local solutions to be designed is positive and well supported by SPA members. However, in the absence of national policy, the fragmented piecemeal lack-of-strategy that has persisted for years and contributed to the increase in suicides will continue."

“The call to make better use of technologies and to draw on the wisdom of those who have personal experience of suicide is also strongly supported by SPA,” Ms Murray said. The rates of suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities must also be addressed immediately. With rates 2.5 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians, it cannot be emphasised enough the urgency of releasing the funds to implement the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy."

A National Office for Suicide Prevention and accompanying legislation will demonstrate strong leadership and provide the needed attention that will make significant improvements in our response to this complex social issue.

For media enquiries contact: Sue Murray 0408 400 218 or suem@suicidepreventionaust.org

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24 May 2016
Suicide Prevention Australia is calling on the 45th Parliament to step up to its responsibilities, show national leadership and cease the piecemeal approach that has led to the concerning suicide rates published today across 28 electorates.