SPA feedback on the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan

9 December 2016

Our covering letter to our submission read:

Suicide Prevention Australia contributed to the development of the Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan, providing suggestions from Member feedback, the Australian Response to the World Health Organization global report on suicide and from meetings of the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention to provide a submission to the working group on the plan, earlier this year.

As the peak body, we have encouraged our Members (see Appendix C for SPA Organisational Members) and networks to actively participate in the Fifth National Mental Health Plan consultation process to assist Government in developing the best possible Plan for implementation. The Draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan represents a continuation of five year plans agreed to across Federal and State/Territory Health Ministers for action and priorities on mental health. The Plan is accordingly a statement of contributions and accountabilities health portfolios can deliver on towards agreed national goals. The Plan does not establish head of government commitments, but is intended to form the basis for monitoring results by individual State/Territory Governments and the Federal Government, as well as define the linkages for collaboration across tiers of government.

It is essential that suicide prevention remains core to reform of the health, mental health and other related services and portfolios. We must also keep the person at the centre of every change being discussed as part of this reform. We must listen to lived experience of mental health and suicidal behaviours, and make meaningful use of this experience in implementation plans.

Please find enclosed Suicide Prevention Australia’s submission comprising several areas that we believe require action and inclusion in the final Plan. See Appendix B for specific points by action area. In addition to the points enclosed within we would like to reiterate our full support for a review of the LiFE Framework and development of a national suicide prevention plan supported by legislation and a National Office for coordination across Government.

The Suicide Prevention Australia Board, team and Membership is available for questions on our Submission during and following consultation should it be helpful in managing next steps. We are committed to making our collective expertise available over the long term and working in partnership with you to turn the devastating trend of suicide in this country.

It is the responsibility of us all to inspire dollar and emotional investment in this Fifth Plan. For the many and diverse stakeholders, key to delivering a long-term vision of life promotion, is having an inspirational, innovative plan to drive implementation.

Sue Murray, Chief Executive