Suicide Prevention Australia supports the call on entire community response to mental health reform and suicide prevention

2 August 2013

Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) welcomes the new report by the Mental Health Council Australia (MHCA) and the call for a whole community approach to address mental health with a priority focus on suicide prevention.

Today, the new report entitled, Perspectives: Mental Health and Wellbeing in Australia was launched by MHCA Chair, Jennifer Westacott. The report outlines a pathway for mental health reform for the next ten years. It has opinion pieces from a range of sectors including the suicide prevention sector and comments from consumers, academics and people in service delivery.

Sue Murray, CEO Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA), who contributed to the report, supports the MHCA’s call for a national approach to reforming the mental health sector in Australia.

“This is the time to adopt a new approach to address the serious issue of suicide rates affecting Australia’s youth, the ageing population, the workforce and other important groups,” she said.

In Australia each year, 2,500 people die by suicide and over 65,000 will attempt to take their life.

Suicide Prevention Australia will be working alongside the mental sector with the goal of reducing the number of suicides in Australia by 50% over the next ten years.

She says that SPA is leading a new national coalition for suicide prevention which has adopted the US model of a collective impact framework calling on business government and the not-for-profit section to reduce suicide in Australia. The coalition has over 15 partner organisations such as MHCA, Beyondblue, RUOK Day, Headspace and Sane that will be working together.

Sue Murray commented that globally, suicide now takes more lives than war, murder and natural disasters combined. That is 36 million years of healthy life lost in 2010, according to a recent Lancet article* (December 2012).

The number of suicides is too big to grasp until you hear that it is someone’s daughter, a sister’s brother or a child’s father that has taken their life, she added.

Suicide Prevention Australia believes that to reduce suicide in Australia we need to openly talk about the issue and to create a community that encourages people to give help and seek help.
As a whole community we want to work together to reach the goal of halving suicide by 2023.

Perspectives: Mental Health and Wellbeing in Australia Report.
Download here.

*Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, The Lancet, 13 December 2012.
View here.

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