Extension to Australia’s national suicide prevention programs

Posted 28th September 2018 in General

This week, the Federal Government announced extended funding of the National Suicide Prevention leadership and Support Program through to 2021.

Included in that announcement was Australia’s new digital portal to suicide prevention, Life in Mind, which acts as an online gateway to information, resources, programs and services in national, state and regional settings (more about Life in Mind here).

With this role in mind, Life in Mind has taken the opportunity to provide a snapshot on programs featured in the announcement, and links for further information.

Programs extended to 2021 include:

  • Orygen The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, is the world’s leading research and knowledge translation organisation focusing on mental ill-health in young people. In partnership with young people, Orygen has developed the #chatsafe guidelines to provide support young people who might be responding to suicide-related content posted by others or for those who might want to share their own feelings and experiences with suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviours in a safe way.
  • OzHelp Foundation Delivers a range of programs and services to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people in the workforce and the wider community. The aim of these programs are to increase physical and mental health literacy and help-seeking behaviours, and improve the resilience of individuals to access support for themselves and others around them. OzHelp’s programs include ALERT, Wellbeing at Work and Workplace Tune Up.
  • ReachOut is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people and parents. They provide practical support, tools and tips help young people navigate through difficulties they may face in their everyday life.
  • Roses in the Ocean is a leading lived experience of suicide organisation, providing a critical national leadership, advocacy and policy, advisory, and workforce development role throughout Australia.
  • The University of Western Australia is funded to oversee the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention. The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) aims to reduce the causes, prevalence and impact of suicide on Indigenous individuals, families and communities. A focus on at-risk groups, by identifying, translating and promoting the adoption or adaption of best practice in Indigenous-specific suicide prevention activity, including that which is found in emerging domestic and international research.
  • Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) delivers mental health and suicide prevention messaging over radio stations nationally and develop other communications materials for groups that may be high risk. With 450+ member stations, CBAA provide a voice for communities that aren’t adequately serviced by other broadcasting sectors, including Indigenous Australians; ethnic communities; educational services; religious communities; print disabled communities; music, arts and cultural services; and youth and seniors’ communities.
  • Everymind programs include the Mindframe (supported by SANE StigmaWatch), online suicide prevention portal Life in Mind, and the new National Communications Charter launched in September 2018.
  • MATES in Construction deliver strategic, innovative, evidence based suicide prevention and mental health programs to the building, mining, energy and construction industries. This is done by raising awareness, building capacity, connecting workers to help and providing evidence based information to the industry through research.
  • Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA) is a national not-for-profit health promotion charity focused on mental health training and research. Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.
  • National LGBTI Health Alliance is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI) and other sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people and communities.
  • R U OK? is a national suicide prevention charity that works to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life. Their role within the mental health and suicide prevention sector is a national movement that enables and strengthens informal community care.
  • Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) provides national leadership for the suicide prevention sector in Australia. SPA works collaboratively to develop a community that knows how to ask for help and how to give help.
  • The University of Melbourne/Centre for Mental Health aims to improve mental health and mitigate the impact of mental illness at a population level. It does this through high quality, collaborative, interdisciplinary research, academic teaching, professional and community education, and mental health system development. The Centre contributes to evidence-informed mental health policy and practice in Australia and internationally through the work of its three units: Global and Cultural Mental Health, Mental Health Policy and Practice, and Population Mental Health.
  • Wesley Community Services LifeForce program provides suicide prevention services that educate and empower local communities, supporting people most at risk. Wesley LifeForce take a comprehensive approach to tackling suicide by working across the areas of prevention, intervention and post-vention.

Life in Mind Suicide Prevention Project Lead at Everymind, Amanda McAtamney, said:

“Our aim for Life in Mind is to deliver a national suicide prevention digital gateway, connecting organisations, the sector and communities to current information, programs, resources and research. The extended funding will ensure we can roll out our activities and amplify all suicide prevention activities in Australia."

As well as the newly funded programs above, there are many other leading organisations and resources providing national and regional approaches to suicide prevention. These are also featured on Life in Mind and can be accessed via the following links.