EMPHN: Greater focus on suicide 'hotspots' will save lives

24 August, 2016

Eastern Melbourne PHN has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of $10 million over four years in additional suicide prevention funding targeted at six priority communities. The six pilots will commence in January 2017 and include both intensive community based support and place-based support models.

The process for identifying the target areas included a comprehensive review of available data and in-depth consultations with Victoria’s six primary health networks and other mental health and suicide prevention experts.

Eastern Melbourne PHN CEO, Robin Whyte, welcomed the announcement and acknowledged the Victorian Government and Minister Foley’s leadership in mental health and suicide prevention.

‘Over 2,500 people each year on average lose their lives because of suicide and we all now recognise that this is an unnecessary tragedy. Primary health networks are committed to working with the Victorian Government to reduce this number and show people that suicide is never the answer.

‘There is no way to disconnect suicide from its causes and that is why a prevention-driven approach is vital to engage with the risk factors people face in their lives. A strong focus on prevention will complement services that can reach out and respond to people when they are in crisis.

‘Whittlesea has been selected as a pilot site, acknowledging both high need in this area and the large CALD and Aboriginal communities which are a priority for us and the Victorian Government. This pilot will develop outreach strategies to enable genuine, community-driven engagement with these groups who are at increased risk of suicide.

‘There is no doubt that this initiative will save lives over the next four years.’

If this content causes distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for support 24/7.

Note to media: There is data linking the reporting of suicide to increased harm for people who are at risk. The harmful impact of reporting is related to the manner of reporting, including what details are included or not included. Please see http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media for helpful guidance around ensuring any reporting of this issue is done in the safest way possible for your readers/audience.