The launch of the NSW Suicide Monitoring and Data Management System today is a significant milestone in suicide prevention. Access to accurate, reliable and rapid information about every suicide and suspected suicide has the potential to save lives.
Suicide Prevention Australia has been advocating for this Register in New South Wales, which follows the Suicide Registers already in place in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.
Suicide Prevention Australia, CEO, Nieves Murray says, “This is a significant moment in suicide prevention for NSW. Organisations working directly with people in crisis will benefit from the NSW Suicide Monitoring and Data Management System as they will better understand why suicides occur and how to prevent them.
“Suicide is a difficult issue to talk about but we need to know more about the suicides that do happen, and in real time.
“Our members, which include the largest and many of the smallest suicide prevention and mental health organisations, can use this information to evaluate and improve the services they’re delivering to vulnerable people in our community.
“Ultimately, quick access to this information means that suicide prevention organisations will be better equipped to deliver services and programs that make a difference to those in distress and most importantly save lives.
“In addition, Suicide Registers provide our policymakers with more information to determine what works and what needs to change in suicide prevention.
“We need all the other States and Territories to follow suit, and we look forward to South Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia setting up Suicide Registers by the end of this year.
“Given the challenges that COVID-19 has created across our communities, there is even more reason for other states to follow suit.
“In the meantime, the data released in the NSW Suicide Register today shows that in contrast to some of the predictions, we are not seeing a spike in suicide rates in 2020.
“This means that the protective measures put in place by Governments across Australia are having an impact. These include the NSW Government’s significant investment in scaling up mental health and suicide prevention services, coupled with the Commonwealth Government’s support for JobKeeper and JobSeeker.
“Of course, we can’t be complacent. The next months and years will be challenging and that’s why we will work closely with Government and our members to ensure we continue to strengthen the suicide prevention and mental health systems.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that over 3,000 people died by suicide last year and we can never underestimate the impact that every life lost to suicide has on family, friends, workplaces and the broader community. We need to continue shining a light on suicide prevention to help save lives,” said Ms Murray.
To get help 24/7, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, phone 000 for emergency services.