For the last three decades, Suicide Prevention Australia has promoted, developed, and harmonised the most important initiatives in the fight against suicide in the country. It has attracted scores of young researchers and created networks of experts; it has been an attentive listener of those who have suffered the consequences of self-destructive behaviours.
It has given voice to those who wanted to counteract the stigma embedded to suicide. In doing all these efforts, Suicide Prevention Australia has succeeded in being heard and supported also at the highest political level. I have no hesitations in maintaining that Suicide Prevention Australia has inspired many prevention programs around the world.
Diego De Leo, Life Member
Across my career, I have led organisations that have a focus on mental health and wellbeing. This included fighting for those with HIV, driving evidence-based addiction prevention programs, and the eight years I was privileged to lead Suicide Prevention Australia. A theme that cut across all these organisations was the insidious and ongoing impacts of stigma and discrimination. This can be stigma in the community, from health professionals and educators, in the media, and even as expressed through our political leaders and their policies.
Regrettably, systemic stigma and discrimination can cause self-stigma. Suicide Prevention Australia continues to do incredible work, including towards fighting stigma, but as a sector and community, we need to do so much more.
Ryan McGlaughlin, Former CEO (2004 – 2012)
It is communities that create momentum and it is momentum that creates change. For the last thirty years Suicide Prevention Australia has been at the forefront of leading that change because of the many organisations, people, and communities we have represented. The momentum that has been created over that period has seen some incredible change we can all be proud of. But, like all things, we didn’t come this far not to go further.
Matthew Tukaki, Former Board Member (2010 – 2017) and Chair (2017 – 2019)
In the decade since I joined Suicide Prevention Australia I have seen many positive changes that have delivered benefits to its members Those with lived experience are actively engaging in suicide prevention, governments are investing in improved services and research and there is a much greater emphasis on personalised approaches to support. Despite this, there is still much to do and that includes a focus on prevention.
Sue Murray OAM, Former CEO (2012 – 2018) and Life Member
Based on its strong membership base, Suicide Prevention Australia is providing national input into the development of quality, evidenced, and outcomes-based policies and programs aiming to reduce suicide rates. In recent times, through its Policy Platform and other activities Suicide Prevention Australia has advocated for a whole of government approaches to suicide prevention, improvements in data collection and analysis, and the development of a workforce strategy. The Platform and related advocacy are an example of the Suicide Prevention Australia’s evolution as a strong peak body.
This evolution would not have occurred if it were not for the dedication and work of individuals – many of whom had a lived experience of suicide – that established Suicide Prevention Australia and participated in endeavours including advocating successfully for the 2010 Senate suicide inquiry.
Stan Piperoglou, Board Member (2015 – Current)
One of the positive steps forward in recent times has been the genuine collaboration within the sector. Suicide Prevention Australia has played a key role in driving for and supporting this collaboration.
By engaging and drawing together the various members, Suicide Prevention Australia has been central to influencing systemic change and being the voice for organisations with a shared purpose.
Colin Seery, CEO of Lifeline Australia, one of our longest serving members