Partnering up to prevent suicide in the community

  19 December 2016  NWMPHN   

New suicide prevention activity will be implemented in six additional sites around Victoria thanks to a partnership between Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and the Victorian Government.

As part of the place-based suicide prevention initiative, PHNs will work with local services, schools and communities to develop and deliver suicide prevention plans that address local priorities and build on existing workforce development and supports.

North Western Melbourne PHN CEO Associate Professor Christopher Carter said preventing suicide is a key health and community issue across Victoria.

“We’re particularly happy to be part of a new commitment in the Macedon Ranges area, where the rate of deaths from suicide and self-inflicted injuries is higher than the Victorian average,” A/Prof Carter said.

Each site will be supported to implement proven suicide prevention approaches, including raising awareness of mental health issues and support services, school-based programs, and frontline staff training.

“We welcome the opportunity to co-invest and partner with the Victorian Government for suicide prevention,” A/Prof Carter said. “The PHN’s investment in the Macedon Ranges, and the Victorian Government’s investment in Brimbank and Melton, is a great example of better aligning scarce resources to achieve the same goal.”

Victorian Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, said the new initiatives were a key part of the government’s 10 year mental health plan and its goal to halve suicide rates by 2025.

“We lose more people to suicide every year than the road toll – we are supporting a community response to change this devastating statistic,” Mr Foley said.

“The partnership with Primary Health Networks expands on our strong investment in suicide prevention – working together will deliver better mental health outcomes for the community.”

The new sites will be in the Macedon Ranges, Benalla, Maroondah, Great South Coast, Bass Coast and Dandenong. They expand on previously announced Victorian Government initiatives in the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston, Brimbank and Melton, Whittlesea, Mildura, the La Trobe Valley and Ballarat.