Psychologists welcome Govt action on suicide prevention

By Our Reporter

Australia’s peak body for psychologists, the Australian Psychological Society (APS), has welcomed the Australian Government’s $64 million investment in suicide prevention and mental health initiatives.

APS President Ros Knight congratulated Minister for Heath Hon Greg Hunt on his swift response to initial advice from the National Suicide Prevention Adviser Ms Christine Morgan.

“This latest example of the Australian Government’s commitment to implementing a new approach to suicide prevention is to be commended.”

Ms Morgan, who was appointed in July 2019, has outlined the need to use the knowledge of lived experience, to intervene early, focus on specific at-risk groups, strengthen families and communities, and ensure that all government services are working to reduce suicide.

“The APS has been pleased to see Minister Hunt and Ms Morgan’s support for community-based projects. The APS supports the government’s efforts to improve suicide prevention services and address Australia’s mental health crisis,” she said.

The funding announcement comprises the following elements:

  • $13.4 million in 2020-21 to extend the National Suicide Prevention Trial sites for a further year
  • $10 million over two years from 2020-21 for an initial expansion of the StandBy Support After Suicide Service
  • $7 million over two years from 2020-21 to expand the Way Back and other programs to increase the coverage of aftercare services in Australia
  • $4.6 million in 2020-21 boost to investment in peer support for young people through organisations such as the Raise Foundation and ReachOut
  • $4.4 million from 2020-21 for the headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation to deliver suicide prevention training and education sessions in schools through the Schools Suicide Prevention Activities Program
  • $1.5 million to Lifeline Australia and $500,000 to Kids Helpline in 2019-20
  • $1 million additional in 2019-20 for the NMHC to support ongoing reform in child and youth mental health.

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