This week NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, with the Minister for Mental Health, announced a $90 million investment into aftercare initiatives through suicide prevention funding. The announcement was followed by the launch of the Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW 2018-2023 at the Parliament of NSW on Wednesday, October 17 2018.
The Strategic Framework was developed by the Mental Health Commission of NSW and the NSW Ministry of Health, in collaboration with people with lived experience of a suicide attempt or suicide bereavement, government agencies, mental health organisations and experts in suicide prevention.
The announced Framework will guide activities in NSW until 2023 and marks the beginning of the journey towards zero suicides in NSW.
NSW communities at high risk of suicide will benefit from new or expanded initiatives from next year including:
- Aftercare services – for people following a suicide attempt have access to follow up care and support
- Emergency Department alternatives – provide a more suitable alternative for people in crisis, such as designated ‘cafes’ with trained mental health workers at hand
- Zero Suicides in Care – strengthening practices within the mental health system to eliminate suicide attempts by people in care
- Expand community mental health outreach teams – to increase capacity to respond to calls to the NSW Mental Health hotline
- New support services for people bereaved by suicide – to prevent ‘clusters’ of further suicides, especially among young people.
- Resilience building within local communities – engage communities to participate in suicide prevention, with particular focus on Aboriginal communities
- Enhance the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program – to provide additional counsellors for people in regional and rural areas
- Improved collection and distribution of suicide data in NSW
Breakdown of the suicide prevention funding:
- $4.25 million into "Zero Suicides in Care" program, which will aim to reduce suicide attempts by people in care
- $3 million for aftercare services to improve follow-up care for people after a suicide attempt
- $10 million for alternatives to emergency department, to create new and immediate support for people with suicidal ideation
- $650,000 for data collection on suicide data in NSW
- $3.25 million for resilience building in communities, with focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- $1.8 million for new bereavement services to prevent "clusters" of suicides
- $2.25 million for a Rural Adversity Mental Health program
- $8.5 million for new outreach team to increase intensive, complex care for people with severe mental illness.
Read the full Framework on the NSW policy and strategy page: Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW 2018-2023.