Labor welcomes the Turnbull Government’s belated commitment to extend the 12 suicide prevention trial sites across Australia.
Labor has been publicly calling on the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, to extend the trial sites for almost a year and has written to him repeatedly about this.
We have also called for the 12 trial sites to be comparably resourced for on-ground suicide prevention activities, particularly for those trials being run in rural and remote Australia.
Whilst we welcome today’s decision, it is disappointing the Turnbull Government did not commit to this extension sooner. The Primary Health Networks undertaking this work require certainty to gather the data required to get this policy right.
The Turnbull Government continues to play catch-up on suicide prevention after previously adopting Labor’s policy to roll out 12 suicide prevention trial sites across the country.
It is vitally important the Turnbull Government gets this policy right.
The latest statistics from the ABS revealed 2866 Australians died by suicide last year. These statistics are heartbreaking and confronting.
Labor is prepared to work with all levels of Government to focus on a holistic approach to mental health and suicide prevention.
It is only through working together that we will be able to finally reduce the impact of mental ill health and suicide in our society.
**For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Other services include Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636, Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800, MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978 **