More suicide prevention and intervention programs will be available to Victorians who identify as LGBTIQ and extra bereavement counselling offered, thanks to an Andrew’s Labor Government funding boost.
Marking World Suicide Prevention Day, Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announced state-wide service Switchboard Victoria will receive $500,000 to establish new pilot suicide prevention programs across the state.
Victoria’s LGBTIQ population have higher rates of anxiety, self-harm and suicide than their peers, but these new programs will give them the tools and support they need. Switchboard will also offer bereavement support for families and friends who have lost a loved one to suicide.
The funding is in addition to $200,000 recently provided by the Government to support a surge in demand for Switchboard Victoria’s services from the LGBTIQ community.
The Labor Government is working hard to reduce the suicide rate in Victoria – which in 2017 was more than double the road toll – and has called the State’s first ever Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
Through the Government’s Suicide Prevention framework, we’re aiming to halve Victoria’s suicide rate by 2025 with an additional investment of $45.7 million. This investment is also funding suicide prevention initiatives like place-based suicide prevention trials and the Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE initiative).
The suicide prevention trials are operating in 12 locations in partnership with Primary Health Networks and bring together organisations and community to develop a plan to reduce suicides and deliver effective suicide prevention at a local level.
The HOPE initiative is also in place in 12 locations across the State. The initiative offers intensive support to people who have made a suicide attempt, and their family members, to reduce the risk of recurrence.
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System will map out a plan of action that drives major changes to Victoria’s mental health services to support all Victorians with mental illness. The Labor government will implement all the Royal Commission’s recommendations.
If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“Sadly LGBTIQ people have the highest rate of suicidality of any population. We’re investing in programs to give them access to the resources and support they need to get well and stay well.”
“While the vital work of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System continues, we will continue partnering with vulnerable and at-risk communities to deliver programs which address their specific needs.”
Quote attributable to Switchboard CEO Joe Ball
“This funding will allow us to train our staff and volunteers to recognise signs of suicidality and create resources to better support our diverse LGBTIQ communities.”