Suicide Prevention Australia urges the South Australian and Australian Government to urgently finalise funding for critical suicide prevention services for South Australians.
A bilateral agreement announced between both governments today includes additional mental health supports but does not include promised commitments to universal aftercare and postvention services.
Unlike the agreement announced by the Commonwealth and New South Wales yesterday, this could leave South Australians who have attempted suicide or are bereaved by suicide without much-needed support.
In the 2021-22 Budget, the Commonwealth announced $158.6 million for universal aftercare services for every Australian discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt and $22 million for postvention services which helped those bereaved by suicide.
Suicide Prevention Australia has today written to South Australian and Commonwealth Ministers to urge immediate resolution of this issue.
South Australia has led the way in some parts of suicide prevention, including as the first jurisdiction to pass a Suicide Prevention Act and with a Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention. These important initiatives need to be matched with on-ground services state-wide.
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray said, “We know there are high rates of distress in the community and that the impacts of COVID-19 and natural disasters will be widespread for years to come.
“It couldn’t be a more important time to roll-out these services to those that need them.
“The South Australian and Australian Governments need to resolve this urgently and provide a clear, funded commitment to universal aftercare and state-wide postvention services.
“We can’t have a situation where 1.7 million South Australians don’t have access to the suicide prevention services they need.
“Research shows that two to three years after a disaster are when suicide risks are highest. It’s critical that adequate suicide prevention services are in place to support our community at this time.
“A suicide attempt is the strongest risk factor for a subsequent suicide attempt, and we need universal aftercare to support people during this vulnerable time.
“People who are bereaved by suicide are at heightened risk of suicide and we need postvention programs to support people at a time of tragedy,” 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.
Help to report about suicide safely is available online: Go to https://mindframe.org.au/
Clare Kinsella 0427 689 689 or email@example.com
Amelia Banks 0410 591 134 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Suicide Prevention Australia
Suicide Prevention Australia is the national peak body and we’ve been providing support for Australia’s suicide prevention sector for more than 25 years. We support and advocate for our members to drive continual improvement in suicide prevention policy, programs and services. Our reach is broad, including member organisations, governments, businesses, researchers, practitioners and those with lived experience. We are focused on an integrated approach to suicide prevention encompassing mental health, social, economic and community factors. We believe that through collaborative effort and shared purpose, we can achieve our vision of a world without suicide.