NSW Government's $8m suicide prevention fund to spark innovation
Lifeline Australia has today welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to create an $8m sector-wide suicide prevention fund, saying it will help create new and better ways to stop suicide.
CEO Pete Shmigel said today’s release of the FY17 Budget shows the NSW Government is committed to tackling the national suicide emergency at State and local levels.
“We need new thinking and new action to reduce record numbers of suicides. This announcement is that kind of leadership to support stopping suicide,” Mr Shmigel said.
“The $8m suicide prevention fund has the potential to spark innovation in helping people at risk of suicide, the number one cause of death among Australians between 15 and 44.
“In meeting with the NSW Minister for Mental Health recently, Lifeline highlighted the enormous potential of initiatives like:
- text-based crisis service to reach more young people and more middle-aged men, the age group at highest risk of suicide;
- early-intervention schools program to promote suicide-safe skills to the next generation;
- a face-to-face support service for people leaving the health system after a suicide attempt, a time when people are very vulnerable to further suicidality, and;
- the use of new technologies like beacons that send messages at suicide hot spots or wearables that support people with suicidal risk.
“We hope today’s announcement of a suicide prevention fund will take us a step closer to bringing these initiatives to life – helping to save mates, loved ones and whole communities the heartbreak of losing someone to suicide.”
Lifeline Australia also strongly thanked the NSW Government for $3 million of recurrent funding. Since its commencement in 2011, this funding has seen Lifeline improve its 13 11 14 service to the point where the charity now answers about 40,000 additional calls per year.
To read today’s announcement from the NSW Government, click here.
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.