August 28, 2020

Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan and Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, welcomed the launch of the Great South Coast Suicide Prevention Place-Based Trial in Victoria.

The joint commitment between the Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) and the Victorian Government recognises the benefits of collaborative approaches to suicide prevention. Through the PHN, Commonwealth funding of $600,000 over four years is supporting the work of the Great South Coast trial.

Mr Tehan said the investment will engage experienced and respected organisations to trial activities to reduce the rates of suicide and suicide attempts.

“Local health care providers and local leadership will help individuals and families get the support they need,” Mr Tehan said.

“As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing drought and the repercussions of the recent bushfires, many people are feeling the burden—but they are not alone.

“I welcome the help and support of organisations in this trial including the local government, Victorian Ambulance and Police, Wellways, headspace, Outside the Locker Room, and the National Centre for Farmer Health and many others.

“To prevent suicide and reduce the numbers of tragic and untimely deaths, it’s important to make sure all Australians including those who live in rural, regional and remote regions have access to high-quality advice and support.

“The trial will also support activities to improve individual resilience and wellbeing and improve systems to prevent suicide,” Mr Tehan said.

The Great South Coast Suicide Prevention trial is a partnership between the Australian Government funded Western Victorian Primary Health Network and the Victorian State Government.

With expenditure for mental health services and suicide prevention estimated to be in excess of $5.7 billion in 2020-21, the Australian Government continues to demonstrate its firm commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians.

Minister Hunt added that the trail would harness the local expertise of experienced organisations on the ground to reduce the rate of suicide and provide the help and support people and communities need at this difficult time.

“Any life lost to suicide is a tragedy, and the Great South Coast suicide prevention trial is about reducing the rates of suicide in this region,” Minister Hunt said.

“Suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians aged between 15 and 44, deeply effecting friends, families and communities.

“The reasons for suicide are complex and different for each individual.

“We also know the prevalence, characteristics and methods of suicidal behaviour vary between different communities,” he said.

Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline
(13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.

If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or on their website.

Media contact | Cate Mercer-Grant 0408 564 232