10/02/2017

Suicide prevention trial announced for Wide Bay

An innovative suicide prevention trial will be undertaken in the Wide Bay region in an attempt to tackle the area’s high rates of suicide and self-harm.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien has welcomed the inclusion of the region in the $46 million trial, which is aimed at delivering better mental health services.

“I welcome this funding that will support new prevention programs to help stop the loss of lives and the grief and trauma caused by suicide.

“In my maiden speech to Parliament I identified suicide as a tragic and devastating cause of too many deaths in our region and it needs to be addressed.

“I’m pleased the focus is on our region as there is a lot of work to do to help people with mental illness in Wide Bay communities and this action by the Coalition Government is very welcome.”

The Coalition Government has announced it will establish four Suicide Prevention Trial Sites, including the Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network region, with each site receiving approximately $3 million over three years.

Mr O’Brien said the trial will be directed towards Gympie, Maryborough and the North Burnett region which have high rates of suicide and selfharm when compared to the national average.

“The causes of suicide and the resources needed to prevent it vary from region to region, which is why a tailored response is needed. What works well in one community may not be so effective for another community. This program aims to bring together all levels of government, GPs and mental health service providers to identify issues and deliver a tailored response to a community or individual need,” Mr O’Brien said.

Three other Suicide Prevention Trial Sites will be established in Darwin, Western New South Wales and Mid-West Western Australia. These are in addition to the eight trial sites already announced for Brisbane North, North Coast NSW, North Western Melbourne, Perth South, Townsville, The Kimberley, Tasmania and country South Australia.

The Coalition Government has committed $192 million to strengthen mental health care and suicide prevention.

Over the longer term, the findings of trial sites will be used in developing future responses to suicide prevention across Australia.