Chesters and Labor support local suicide prevention groups

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has today voiced her support for the Suicide Prevention Action Group (SPAN).

“Sadly, suicide affects far too many Central Victorians. I have participated in the SPAN walk and met the families and friends of those affected by suicide and their stories are just heartbreaking. I know from attending SPAN events how important this group is for families and friends of people who have suicided,” said Ms Chesters.

Approximately seven Australians die from suicide every day, and for every person who dies from suicide, 30 attempt it.

“These numbers are simply horrific which is why a Labor Government will target a 50 per cent reduction in suicides over the next 10 years,” said Ms Chesters.

Labor’s National Suicide Prevention Strategy will provide a strong national commitment to reduce the suicide toll and coordinate a focused effort across Australia.

Across a range of projects and programs, Labor has committed almost $84 million over four years to this issue.

A Labor Government will:
• Commission Australia’s first national data-set of suicide deaths and work with the States and Territories to establish a national suicide register, helping experts identify vulnerable groups in our community.
• Provide $72 million over three years for 12 regional suicide pilot projects. These projects will be in places with higher-than-average rates of suicide deaths, using a whole of community response to reduce suicide deaths in the most effective way.
• Provide $9 million towards a National Suicide Prevention Fund. The Fund will support research into reducing suicide deaths, and programs which reduce the stigma around suicide and seeking help when contemplating suicide.
• Restore funding cut by the Liberals to six early psychosis centres, supporting young people with serious mental health problems.
• Provide funding so more than 95 headspace centres around the country can stay open.
• Lead the negotiation to develop the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
• Deliver regionally tailored mental health programs through existing Primary Health Networks.
• Make sure people living with a mental illness continue to receive the support and care they need when they are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
• Promote the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance to support better mental health at work and remove the stigma and discrimination that all too often accompanies mental ill health.

“Suicide is a complex issue. Through a combination of new research, pilot programs and new investment in existing programs, Labor’s National Strategy will tackle suicide from multiple angles to better respond to this devastating issue that impacts too many of us in Central Victoria,” said Ms Chesters.

For more information on Labor’s plan, please visit:
www.100positivepolicies.org.au/halving_the_toll_a_national_approach_to_suicide_prevention_fact_sheet