The Mental Health Commission of NSW has visited communities across NSW to talk about a better coordinated approach to suicide prevention.
Throughout March and April, more than 200 people attended five regional forums in Wollongong, Lismore, Dubbo, Liverpool and Wagga Wagga, and more than 900 people responded to the Commission's online survey.
Specific consultations were held with Aboriginal people as well as rural and remote mental health experts and further targeted consultations are planned with youth & LGBTI communities.
The Commission will use the information gathered, in addition to current and past work at the state and Commonwealth level, to develop a ‘Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW’. The Framework will be developed in partnership with the Ministry of Health and delivered to the NSW Government for consideration.
NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey said people who attended the forums provided a wealth of information on what was working well and what could be improved in their communities.
Ms Lourey said attendees highlighted successful existing services and discussed potential gaps and future improvements to services.
“We found people seem to be talking more about suicide and stigma appears to be reducing in some communities,” Ms Lourey said.
“There is definitely some great work being done across NSW but we still need to do more to reduce suicide and the distress it causes for individuals, families and communities.”
Suicide affects all communities, with a greater impact on Aboriginals communities and young people. Each year, close to 3000 Australians die by suicide, an average of eight people per day. NSW accounts for over a quarter of these deaths. In 2016, 805 people in NSW died by suicide and for every completed suicide, it is estimated that up to 30 others attempt to take their life.
SNAPSHOT OF THE SUICIDE PREVENTION CONSULTATIONS
- Talked to more than 200 people
- Five regional forums
- Four Aboriginal consultations
- Youth & LGBTI consultations planned
- The online survey is now closed.