12 March 2018

Everyone in NSW who is committed to reducing suicide is invited to share their ideas and insights as part of a new project that aims to transform the state’s approach to suicide prevention.

Over the coming month, the NSW Mental Health Commission will consult with individuals and organisations across the state on the creation of a ‘Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW’, on behalf of the NSW Government. The project is focused on understanding the unique strengths and needs of individual communities and applying these to an effective state-wide approach. A key part will be listening to community feedback on what is working and where more or new effort is needed.

Individuals and organisations can have their say by completing an online survey before 15 April, or by attending one of four consultations happening around NSW in the coming weeks:

NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey said the project was a call to action for every individual in the state who wanted to contribute to the effort to achieve long-term suicide reduction.

“Suicide is a tragedy that cuts short valuable lives and causes lasting distress for loved ones and whole communities. Suicide attempts and thoughts can be a constant part of some people's lives. A strong mental health and social support system is essential to support people at times of crisis, but we know that health professionals alone cannot prevent suicide - it requires a whole of community effort. That is why we want to hear from everyone who is passionate about this issue,” Ms Lourey said.

“By taking part, people will be helping to make sure suicide prevention activities are effective and well-coordinated across the state and that no person and no community is left to manage on their own.”

“We are particularly reaching out to those who have survived a suicide attempt or who have experienced the suicide or attempted suicide of a loved one. Your insights are of utmost importance.”

The NSW Mental Health Commission together with the Ministry of Health will consider how the Framework will sit across the activities of government in suicide prevention. The Commission expects to provide the Minister for Mental Health with a Framework that is practical and based upon both the evidence and people's own lived experience by August this year.

Suicide facts:

  • Each year, close to 3000 Australians die by suicide, an average of eight people per day.
  • In 2016, 805 people in NSW died by suicide
  • For every completed suicide in Australia, it is estimated that up to 30 others attempt to take their life.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.
  • About 75 per cent of Australians who die by suicide are men.
  • Suicide rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are twice as high for nonIndigenous Australians.

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Last updated: 12 March 2018