Pioneering suicide-prevention trial extended

Doug Hendrie

14/05/2018 3:05:57 PM

A nationwide suicide-prevention trial will be extended until 2020 in a bid to discover the best approaches to help stem the annual loss of 3000 Australian lives.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt understands there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to suicide prevention.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt understands there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to suicide prevention.

The Federal Government’s National Suicide Prevention Trial is taking place in 12 locations across Australia, from farming communities to inner-city suburbs.
These areas are hotspots, with a higher suicide rate than average. The trial has been extended once already after its launch in 2016.
The program involves a coordinated approach between all tiers of government, GPs and mental health service providers. The goal is to develop future responses to suicide prevention across Australia.
Strategies involve school-based education, improved care after suicide attempts, and discreet methods such as iPad-based questionnaires designed to allow people to tell their doctors of their mental distress while in the waiting room.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said suicide is a complex problem, meaning that a one-sized-fits-all approach may not be the best model.
‘We recognise that the causes of suicide and the resources needed to prevent it will vary from town to town, and from region to region,’ he said.
‘The resources needed to tackle suicide in a regional farming community in drought may be very different to the resources needed to tackle suicide in inner-city Melbourne.’
‘One life lost to suicide is an enormous tragedy and we are committed to tackling this issue by investing in research, programs and services that will provide help and hope for those in need.’
Primary Health Networks are administering the program across sites in Darwin, the Kimberley, Western NSW, Mid-West Western Australia, Brisbane North, North Coast NSW, North Western Melbourne, Perth South, Northern Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast and Central Queensland, Tasmania and Country South Australia.
The news of the $13 million funding comes after a broader $338 million boost to mental health funding in the Federal Budget.

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