As convenor of the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention (NCSP), we are pleased to see the Government’s plans to implement the recommendations coming out of the National Mental Health Commission Review reinforced in the 2015 Federal Budget.
As expected, there is some detail included on the National Mental Health Commission resources and planned performance (from page 435 of Budget papers). This sets out high level key performance indicators and expected NMHC outcomes for this period. The National Coalition for Suicide Prevention (NSCP) stands by the collective statement on 7 May (Media Release – National Coalition for Suicide Prevention response to NMHC Report) and looks forward to playing a major role in Commission plans for collaboration in implementation of the review.
In essence, the 2015 Federal Budget released last night was not a social or health policy related budget. The focus is very much on small business stimulating economic activity by way of tax cuts and incentives. However, a focus on job creation for young people, support for small business as employers and efforts to improve early childhood development has the potential to make a positive impact on suicide prevention. As we know, suicide is not just about mental health with social determinants painting a large part of an often complex picture. Meaningful employment and enabling positive early childhood experiences are known protective factors and should be encouraged.
That said, there remain a number of unknowns in management of the social and health portfolios and their various reviews and recommendations. What we do know is that we have had a number of health and wellbeing programs funded for 12 months, including those under the National Suicide Prevention Projects (NSPP). The National Coalition for Suicide Prevention will be using this time to inform the Government on what is needed to deliver the best possible outcome for suicide prevention and our shared ambition to halve suicide deaths in this country in ten years.
The NCSP will contribute our collective experience in response to the review recommendations and delivery outcomes set out in this Budget. As a group we are committed to:
1. People with lived experience of suicide driving implementation
2. Funding structures that put the person at the centre of activity
3. Support for bringing together interventions that work
4. The right to timely, consistent and accurate data
5. Increased investment in suicide prevention research.