Open Letter

As part of our National Policy Platform, we are calling for the implementation of a National Suicide Prevention Act.

Peak body Suicide Prevention Australia will join over 40 prominent organisations and individuals in an open letter to be delivered to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and all 227 MPs and Senators in the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day next Saturday (10 September 2022). As the vast majority (79%) of Australians now back a National Suicide Prevent Act.

What is a National Suicide Prevention Act?

An Act ensures that every government department and official, whether it’s housing, education, social security or health, must look at their work through a suicide prevention lens.  

It means everyone is accountable.

There is a shared responsibility across all levels of government, all portfolios and all communities. South Australia has passed an Act and other states are considering their own legislation. In 2006, Japan introduced a Suicide Prevention Act – this helped to bring numbers down by roughly 40% over 15 years. Across our community, we know distress is at an all-time high.

That is why we urgently need a National Suicide Prevention Act to achieve systemic, sustained change.  

Why do we need a National Suicide Prevention Act?

Suicide is very complex human behaviour. There is no single cause. We know that mental ill-health is one risk factor, but it is far from the only one.

Only half of people who die by suicide are accessing mental health services in the 12 months prior and. Many people who lose their life to suicide do not have a mental health condition.

These other factors that increase someone’s risk of suicide are what we call social determinants. They are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, their age, and the factors that influence daily life. Examples include childhood abuse, addiction, bereavement, financial crisis, insecure housing, education, social isolation and more.

Considering all these risk factors for suicide, how can we truly address suicide prevention if we’re only looking at it through a mental ill-health lens? Through a National Suicide Prevention Act. 

Open Letter Image

Open Letter

In the lead-up to World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September – we sent an Open Letter to all Federal MPs and Senators asking for an urgent commitment to a National Suicide Prevention Act.  

The Open Letter has been signed by many of our members representing over 40,000 employees and volunteers in the suicide prevention sector. 

Open Letter
Supporters

Thank you

Suicide Prevention Australia would like to thank our members and associates who have supported its urgent call for a National Suicide Prevention Act. We are stronger together.

Supporting members include: Australian Men’s Health Forum, Batyr, Blue Knot, Gayaa Dhuwi, Gidget Foundation, Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds, Kentish Regional Clinic Inc. CORES Australia, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, Mates in Construction, Neami National, OzHelp, PANDA, Parents Beyond Breakup, ReachOut, R U OK?, Rural Outreach Counselling (ROC), SafeSide Prevention, SAMSN, Semicollon Consulting, Share the Spark, Standby Support After Suicide, Suicide Programs, SuperFriend, The Purple Bucket Foundation, Wesley Mission, Wesley Mission Queensland, Whyalla Suicide Prevention, Yourtown, Youth Insearch, and Zero Suicide Institute.

Supporting Associates include: Agi O’Hara, Psychologist and Suicide Prevention Australia Associate Member, Alison Salisbury, Suicide Prevention Australia Lived Experience Panel Member, Graeme Holdsworth, Suicide Prevention Australia Board Director and Associate Member, Jo Drayton, Suicide Prevention Australia Associate Member, Phillip Cornwell, Suicide Prevention Australia Board Director and Associate Member, Denis Strangman AM, Suicide Prevention Australia Associate Member, Dr Martin Harris, Suicide Prevention Australia Associate Member, Sue Murray OAM, Suicide Prevention Australia Life Member, The Hon Sarah Game MLC, Suicide Prevention Australia Associate Member, Graham McLean, Suicide Prevention Australia Board Director and Associate Member, Stan Piperoglou, Suicide Prevention Australia Board Director and Associate Member, and Angela Emslie AM, Suicide Prevention Australia Board Chair and Associate Member.