Local communities will be supported to prevent suicide and help people at risk as place-based suicide prevention trials begin to roll out across Victoria.
The Brimbank and Melton trial involves experienced provider Wesley Mission setting up a community-led support network that will direct locally appropriate responses to counter the elevated risk of suicide in the region.
The community network will include people with lived experience of suicide, community leaders and service providers coming together to raise suicide awareness, improve suicide prevention skills and service coordination, and ultimately reduce deaths.
The Brimbank and Melton trial is the first step in North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) establishing full place-based suicide prevention trials in the region. NWMPHN is also funding a trial in the Macedon Ranges that will enhance and expand the existing MR SPAG suicide prevention community action group.
The Victorian Government has provided nearly $1.7m to fund the trial in Brimbank and Melton, with the Australian Government, through NWMPHN, funding the Macedon Ranges trial directly.
Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley said a community focused, multi-pronged approach is crucial to getting people the help they need.
“Suicide is a tragedy that has a devastating impact on families and loved ones and we need to ensure we are doing what we can to provide a service system that meets their needs,” Minister Foley said.
NWMPHN CEO Adj/Associate Professor Christopher Carter said the place-based trials are part of a broader push at both state and federal level to get communities more engaged and empowered in suicide prevention.
“Suicide prevention and support has traditionally been the responsibility of mental health agencies,” A/Prof Carter said. “While they have done and continue to do great work, there is a clear need to broaden our focus to include people who aren’t connecting to mental health services but who may still be at risk.
“This trial, as well as upcoming suicide prevention trials funded by the Commonwealth Government, will put local communities at the centre of suicide prevention and support, helping them identify and access the services which will work best in their local context.”
The Brimbank and Melton trial will be launched next Friday 27 October in Sunshine, ahead of the first community consultation forum.
Speakers will include Brimbank Mayor John Hedditch, Melton Mayor Sophie Ramsey, NWMPHN Chair, Dr Ines Rio, and Melissa Yu from Roses in the Ocean, who will speak about her experience of losing a loved one to suicide.
Launch of the Brimbank and Melton Suicide Prevention trial and community consultation
When: Friday 27 October
Morning tea: 11:30am
Speeches: 12:00 – 1:00pm
Community Consultation Session: 1:00 – 3:00pm
Where: Victoria University Convention Centre, Sunshine Campus
Gate 1, 460 Ballarat Rd, Sunshine VIC 3020
Registration: attendance is free, please register here.
Jeremy Kennett, Communications Coordinator
T: (03) 9347 1188 E: firstname.lastname@example.org