The Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan 2014 - 2019 aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders and to develop a renewed approach to suicide prevention.

The goal of the resultant Queensland Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2015-17 is to reduce suicide and its impact on Queenslanders through a whole-of-government plan and comprehensive cross-sectoral approach. 

Queensland suicide prevention action plan 2015-17

The Queensland Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2015-17 specifies four priority areas:

  1. stronger community awareness and capacity, so that families, workplaces and communities are better-equipped to support and respond to people at risk of - and impacted by - suicide
  2. improved service system responses and capacity to ensure people at risk, including those who have attempted suicide, get the support they need, when and where they need it
  3. focused support for vulnerable groups to address the specific needs of groups and communities experiencing higher rates, and at greater risk, of suicide
  4. a stronger, more accessible evidence base to drive continuous improvement in research, policy, practice and service delivery.

The Queensland Government’s Suicide Prevention in Health Services Initiative is an integral part of Connecting care to recovery 2016–2021: A plan for Queensland’s state-funded mental health, alcohol and other drug services. The initiative includes three major components focused on suicide prevention:

  1. the establishment and operation over three years of a Suicide Prevention Health Taskforce as a partnership between the Department of Health, Hospital and Health Services and Primary Health Networks (PHNs). The Taskforce was established in August 2016 to focus on the development of suicide prevention policy, strategies, services, and programs to be used in a health service delivery context. These will contribute to a measurable reduction in suicide and its impact on Queenslanders.
  2. analysis of events relating to deaths by suspected suicide of people that had recent contact with a health service to inform future actions and improvements in service responses
  3. continued implementation of training for hospital emergency department staff and other frontline acute mental health care staff in recognising, responding to and providing care to people presenting to hospital and health services with suicide risk.

Queensland Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health strategy 2016-2021

The overarching vision of the Queensland Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Strategy 2016–2021 is to eliminate the gap in mental health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders. Actions against four result areas will help achieve this vision:

  1. developing culturally-capable mental health services
  2. connecting health care
  3. partnering for prevention and recovery
  4. enhancing the evidence base.

Townsville community suicide prevention action plan 2017-2020

Within the Northern Queensland PHN, the Townsville Suicide Prevention Network (SPN), which is one of the national funded suicide prevention trial sites, has developed the Townsville Community Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2017-2020. This has been guided by the Living is for Everyone (LIFE) framework and the Queensland Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2015-17.

The Townsville SPN commissioned James Cook University to consider the evidence base and the resultant report, Preventing suicide in the North: developing capacity, local knowledge and skills, provides information that can form the basis of the community action plan.