Statement on United Synergies StandBy Response Service – House of Representatives

Last week I met with Christopher John and Karen Phillips from the United Synergies organisation, whose head office is based in my electorate of Wide Bay.

United Synergies is a great organisation that helps young people, families and the wider community with child and family relationships, education support, employment, homelessness, mental health and support after suicide.

In my maiden speech, I spoke of the alarming numbers of Australians dying by suicide, a number more than double our national road toll. Whilst we must do all we can to prevent suicide from occurring, we must also understand that those who are bereaved by suicide are also vulnerable and need specific care. As a former police officer, I have seen the very sad effects of suicide on families and others exposed to it. I have witnessed the immediate tragedy and crisis, as well as the suffering that continues during what are often extended coronial proceedings and beyond.

United Synergies runs the StandBy Response Service, which is a national, community based suicide postvention program that provides a coordinated response of support and assistance for people who have been bereaved through suicide. The service is a single point of contact, coordinating existing services to enable an immediate and ongoing response.

I encourage anyone bereaved by suicide who needs help to get in contact with the StandBy Response Service and utilise this very valuable service.