Leaders unite for inaugural 'Stop Suicide Summit'
Lifeline will host the inaugural National Stop Suicide Summit in Sydney on 1 May 2017, with leaders from a range of backgrounds coming together to offer ‘new thinking and new solutions’ to the national suicide emergency.
Lifeline Australia Pete Shmigel said that the summit is about taking a whole-of-community approach to the whole-of-community issue, and having a discussion beyond the traditional mental health focus.
“With about a million interactions across our 13 11 14 crisis line and online Crisis Support Chat service last year, we know better than most the complex personal support needs, social and economic challenges that Australians are struggling with,” Mr Shmigel said.
“From profound loneliness and relationship breakdown to job loss and financial pressure, these issues – and their ability to prompt suicidal behavior in some people – cannot be tackled by the health system alone.
“As such, the Stop Suicide Summit will see suicide prevention experts and academics sitting alongside people from industries including finance, insurance, agri-business, retail, sport, politics, social media and more. We are truly excited to see what new thinking and new solutions can come from this initiative, and wish to thank partners Twitter, HuffPost Australia and AccorHotels Pacific for their generous support of the summit and their willingness to be part of the solution.”
With the COAG Health Council recently announcing plans to develop Australia’s first National Suicide Prevention Plan, Mr Shmigel highlighted the need to include a focus on compassionate support to people in need of help, technological innovation and innovative cross-sector measures that can stop suicide.
“It’s clear that, with deaths at 10-year-plus high levels, our current approach to suicide isn’t working – this Summit is about finding a better and more hopeful way forward,” Mr Shmigel said.
“Not only will it help the development of the COAG Health Council’s recently-announced plan, but it demonstrates the strong willingness of the corporate sector to co-design solutions together with charities, governments, and other stakeholders.
“This holistic approach is a necessary part of a ‘continuum of connection’ that we hope will see suicide destigmatised, people empowered to give and seek help, the promotion and provision of 24/7 crisis support, as well as a focus on key at risk groups.”
Mr Shmigel also said the Stop Suicide Summit provides an opportunity for businesses like Ruralco – who are already undertaking suicide prevention activities (see here) – to share their perspectives on why and how a cross-sector approach to this issue can save lives.
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.