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 provided to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) for suicide prevention activity as part of the mental health flexible funding pool provided under the standard PHN agreements from July 2016.

In 2016/17 NWMPHN continued funding the previous commonwealth activity which involved three agencies providing 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, both the Commonwealth and State Governments are providing 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 focussed 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 place-based suicide prevention 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.

Each site will facilitate local responses and evidence-based strategies, with multi-sectoral suicide prevention groups developing and implementing local strategies. Each site will use an evidence-based suicide prevention approach, drawing on available evidence regarding both collective impact approaches and mental health specific approaches.

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