Suicide Prevention Australia has today welcomed the report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, in particular the recommendation to establish the Suicide Prevention and Response Office.
CEO Nieves Murray said that she was heartened by the proposal for the office but warned that the future State Suicide Prevention and Response Adviser needs to maintain a focus on suicide prevention as a separate issue to mental health.
“Not all of those who experience mental distress will be suicidal, and not all those in suicidal crisis have pre-existing mental health conditions,” she said.
“It is encouraging to see the report’s candid reflections of the system in Victoria. We can’t forget that every system failure has a direct impact on the lives of Australians.
“Suicide Prevention Australia has long been advocating for a whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention, and we are happy to see the Victorian Government taking the first steps toward integrating suicide prevention into every department.
“Suicide Prevention Australia also welcomed the recommendation for peer-led safe spaces and gatekeeper training across communities and workplaces.
“We have to look beyond clinical settings to life before and after a suicidal crisis,” Ms Murray said.
“It’s positive to see the recommendations in this report supporting people after a suicide attempt.
“We know that support following a suicide attempt saves lives. We welcome the Royal Commission’s recommendation for increasing the availability of aftercare, and call on all Australian governments to ensure that high-quality aftercare programs such as HOPE and the Way Back Support Service are available to survivors of suicide attempts.
“In addition, introducing gatekeeper training for key community connectors means that those experiencing crisis can access help when, and more importantly where, they need it
“We are still eagerly awaiting the Prime Minister’s response to the interim report from the National Suicide Prevention Adviser which could be a game changer.
“As a sector, we’ve been advocating for a national office for suicide prevention. Let’s take the opportunity to finally fix the broken suicide prevention system in Australia,” Ms Murray said.
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.