Australia, 19 June 2016: Suicide Prevention Australia, lead agency for the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention, welcomes the Australian Labor Party's $72m mental health and suicide prevention plan announced by Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten MP today.
This plan is, in the most part, aligned to the Suicide Prevention Australia 2016 Election Manifesto and the National Mental Health Commission Review recommendations.
Key points from Labor's plan include:
- Additional $9m to a dedicated national fund, which we would hope to see building on the National Research Action Plan for Suicide Prevention. Suicide Prevention Australia will work to leverage these funds and increase philanthropic and community donations
- Funding to keep 95 headspace centres across Australia open for our youth
- Commitment to funding 12 regional suicide prevention trials as outlined in the National Mental Health Commission Review (including a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander regions).
SPA CEO Sue Murray says of the announcement, "The sector has been calling for suicide prevention to be a nationally coordinated public health priority above and beyond party promises. With suicide taking the lives of more than double the number of Australians dying on our roads, we are pleased to see the amount pledged today is almost double existing funds for this national emergency.”
“Whichever party comes into office next month they must play their part in reducing suicides by half in ten years. We must all do everything we can to support Australians to live."
Carer and long-time lived experience advocate Jen Coulls welcomes the announcement and calls for the voice of those with first hand expertise to continue to be heard, "We cannot afford to lose more lives. We must make sure that this long awaited investment delivers the change that is needed."
"We have clear first steps for change. No more reviews. Implementation plans must draw on our personal experiences of what is needed to support our most vulnerable. Thousands of lives depend on every party putting their money where their mouth is."
As Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten MP said in his speech, " We must offer help and hope."
Download the Suicide Prevention Australia 2016 Election Manifesto
Media Contact: Kim Borrowdale 0406 149 099 firstname.lastname@example.org