While much of the North Western Melbourne PHN region consists of metropolitan and suburban areas, it also includes parts of the regional LGAs of Macedon Ranges and Moorabool. The main health and wellbeing indicators in this peri-urban area include a high rate of deaths from suicide and self-inflicted injuries, particularly in Macedon Ranges.

Commonwealth funding is being given to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) for suicide prevention initiatives as part of the mental health flexible funding pool provided under the standard PHN agreements of July 2016.

In 2016/17 NWMPHN continued to fund three agencies provide training and education and postvention support. The PHN also funds five headspace services to undertake suicide prevention activity, ATAPS Suicide Prevention Services (SPS), and Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) for a pilot project.

In addition, the Commonwealth and State Governments provide funding for localised suicide prevention and intervention activities. The North Western Melbourne PHN is a National Suicide Prevention Trial site that aims to provide evidence of how a more systems-based approach to suicide prevention might be best undertaken within the Australian context. Services for people who have attempted, or are identified as at high risk of attempting suicide, will be provided, in addition to an identified population group for focused activities (yet to be determined).

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Victorian PHNs are co-commissioning place-based trials across the state. The two North Western Melbourne trial locations are Melton/Brimbank and Macedon Ranges.

These trials aim to reduce rates of suicide, improve individual and community resilience and wellbeing, as well as improve systems to prevent suicide in an ongoing way.

Multisectoral suicide prevention groups will develop and implement local responses and evidence-based strategies at each site. They will draw on available evidence regarding both collective impact and mental health specific approaches.

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Contact us to find out more about place-based suicide prevention.