Federal Government commits $11m to stop suicides at hotspots
Lifeline Australia welcomes today’s Federal Government announcement of $11m over three years to save lives at suicide hotspots.
CEO Pete Shmigel said the funding – $2.1m of which will go to Lifeline – will support the national charity to build ‘collectives of caring’ in communities and locations where suicides often occur.
“This pledge will help send a message to people doing it tough, in locations where they have the means to take their own life, that you don’t have to struggle with life’s challenges alone, there is hope,” Mr Shmigel said.
“Together with local communities, mental and social support organisations, businesses, emergency services and other key stakeholders across the country, Lifeline will collaborate to identify where lifesaving measures can have the greatest impact.
“Lifeline understands the significant anguish that suicide hotspots bring to whole communities and, in partnering to build ‘collectives of caring’, we can build on local supports, strengths and networks to ensure those most vulnerable get the help they need.
“We strongly commend Federal Health Minister the Hon. Greg Hunt MP for continuing to dedicate significant focus and funds towards tackling the national suicide emergency in such a holistic way.”
Lifeline Research Foundation Executive Director Alan Woodward said that evidence shows that suicide prevention initiatives at hotspots can reduce suicides by more than 90 per cent.
“From installing barriers and safety nets to promoting crisis support services and using technology to allow for third party interventions, we know that suicide prevention measures at hotspots save lives,” Mr Woodward said.
“This is supported by our 2011 evaluation of Lifeline’s own Hot Spots Service, which showed the effectiveness of our Crisis Supporters in reaching people in high-risk locations and working with them to stay safe.
“It has been extremely encouraging to know that suicidal behavior can be interrupted through the promotion of Lifeline’s Hot Spots Service, together with our strong collaboration with local police and emergency services.”
Lifeline’s Hot Spot Service answers more than 5500 calls each year from locations with emergency crisis phones and signs.
The announcement from the Federal Department of Health can be read here.
For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.
INTERVIEWS: contact [email protected] or 0408 407 376.
TO DONATE: SMS ‘HOPE’ to 0477 333 888 to donate $10 or more to Lifeline and help save lives now.