May 12 2021

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention reform a welcome focus in Federal Budget announcement.

OzHelp welcomes the Federal government’s $2.3 billion investment into a National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. The package is an important first step towards a significant system change that could see a reduction in the lives lost to suicide each year.

OzHelp Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Darren Black said he is pleased to see a longer-term investment in prevention and early intervention.

“It is positive to see the strength in the area of prevention and early intervention, across specific high-risk groups including, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, veterans, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities,” Mr. Black said.

“With data indicating seven out of nine suicides each day are men, it is however disappointing men were not referenced in the announcement as a high-risk group. As we dig deeper into the budget detail and work with Government, our National Suicide Prevention Leadership Support Program peers, and the community we will work to ensure further gaps don’t appear”.

“We acknowledge and support the creation of a National Suicide Prevention Office which will oversee the national approach to suicide prevention and enable much enhanced co-operation and coordination across the sector,” Mr. Black said.

“We also welcome the renewed commitment to the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program which will enable organisations like OzHelp to provide appropriate and compassionate services to targeted high-risk and hard-to-reach communities across the nation.”

OzHelp looks forward to working collaboratively with its National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program peers in supporting a national approach to saving lives. This budget indicates a positive investment and significant opportunity to reduce the devastating loss of over 3,000 people to suicide each year.

The Department of Health’s media release which contains further details about expenditure can be found here.

To access support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, phone 000 for emergency services