New suicide prevention and support after suicide service launches

New suicide prevention and support after suicide service launches

04 July, 2019

Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) has funded Neami National for 15 months to deliver LifeConnect – suicide prevention and support after suicide, a new service aiming to reduce death by suicide, improve the community’s capacity in suicide prevention and provide bereavement support after suicide.  

Federal Member for Menzies, Hon. Kevin Andrews MP, welcomed the news at a launch in Manningham today highlighting that suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15-44 years-old. 

“This service is an important step forward to prevent further suicides in our community and provide adequate support for locals affected by suicide.” 

The service supports the Victorian suicide prevention framework 2016-2025 and will further the work of the place-based suicide prevention trials. 

The model will integrate health and other support services in the local community to collectively work towards the Victorian Government's commitment to halving the suicide rate over the next ten years.

EMPHN CEO Robin Whyte said the service will help those who have been affected by suicide to ensure their health is supported. 

“LifeConnect was informed by a series of focus groups held with healthcare and community service providers, community members and people with lived experience of suicide through our Whittlesea and Maroondah place-based suicide prevention trials,” Ms Whyte said. 

Neami National CEO Tom Dalton said providing suicide prevention activities and training to a broad range of people in the community is essential to prevent issues escalating.  

LifeConnect will take a proactive approach, working with communities to build capacity to talk about suicide as well as working with the community and health sector to ensure people get the support they need,” Mr Dalton said. 

Neami National will deliver the service in the eastern and north-eastern Melbourne community, where nine out of 12 councils have suicide rates higher than state average.  

The service will provide support to families and others who have been bereaved by suicide, including: 

  • individual counselling, 

  • group therapy, 

  • community debriefing and support response after a suicide (e.g. workplaces, sporting clubs), 

  • care coordination. 

And suicide prevention activities, such as: 

  • community activities that focus on wellbeing, resilience, skills development and help seeking, 

  • media communications to promote help seeking and reduce stigma related to mental health and suicide, 

  • community capacity building and training, 

  • development of processes with hospitals and other health services to help people get the support they need,  

  • workforce training to educate and assist health workers in identifying and managing suicide risk. 

To access this service, people can contact Neami National at or call the EMPHN Referral and Access team on 9870 1071.  

This service has been co-commissioned with funding from the Victorian Government’s Place Based Suicide Prevention Program, and the Australian Government under the PHN program. 

According to ABS, 2017: 

  • Death by suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 44. 

  • 3,128 people died from intentional self-harm in 2017, rising 9.1% from 2016. 

  • For every death by suicide, it is estimated that 25 individuals make a non-fatal attempt. 

  • Suicide rates are higher than the state average in nine of out 12 councils in EMPHN’s community. 

  • Death from intentional self-harm is three times higher in males than females. 

  • The age-standardised death by suicide rate for females is the highest recorded preliminary rate in 10 years. 

  • LGBTIQ+ people aged 16-27 are five times more likely to make an attempt on their life.  


Media enquiries: Isabella Olivieri (03) 9046 0316 

About EMPHN: Eastern Melbourne PHN is a Primary Health Network funded by the Australian Government to improve the care and support people receive from health services. We aim to improve the health of our community by ensuring people receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.