People living in regional NSW, older people, and the LGBTIQ community are among the at-risk groups which will now have improved access to mental health support thanks to the NSW Nationals in the state government’s Suicide Prevention Fund.
Nationals Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said $8 million in funding has been allocated to six organisations committed to engaging with communities known to have higher rates of suicide.
“We know that there are some groups of individuals who are at greater risk of suicide due to issues such as past trauma, stigma or isolation,” Mrs Taylor said.
“These experiences not only destabilise their mental health and sense of connectedness, they also make it extremely hard to ask for support.
“This is all about encouraging safe conversations around suicide and suicidal behaviour so people in these priority groups know how and where to access the help that is right for them.”
The NSW Government is also in the final stages of identifying an Aboriginal-owned organisation to deliver targeted suicide prevention activities to First Australians.
The funded services and activities are:
|Organisation||Priority Group||Activity / service funded|
|ACON||LGBTQ+/ People of diverse sexualities and/or genders||Expansion of ACON’s Suicide Aftercare Service to provide a state-wide service for people of diverse sexualities and/or gender who have attempted suicide.
ACON will also deliver a Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Online Hub for this community, their families, friends, and other support networks, including health professionals.
|Anglican Community Services||Older people||Delivery of online suicide prevention training for people who work with older people across NSW (including those in aged care, allied health, and mental health).
|HealthWISE – New England North-West Health||People who have previously attempted suicide||A suicide aftercare service in the New England North-West region of NSW. The service covers Mehi, Tablelands and Peel clusters of the New England North-West region and provides outreach services in smaller towns.
|Grand Pacific Health||People who are experiencing suicidal crisis and require immediate support, and people who have previously attempted suicide||A suicide aftercare service in Illawarra Shoalhaven and Southern NSW. The primary focus will be supporting people over the age of 16 years who have attempted suicide, are at significant risk of suicide or in suicidal crisis.
The locations of hubs in Illawarra Shoalhaven are Wollongong and Nowra. The locations of hubs in Southern NSW are Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Bega and Moruya.
All hubs can provide outreach services to surrounding regions.
|Suicide Prevention Australia||Men||An evidence-informed public health campaign to break down the stigma of help-seeking among men, as well as promote safe conversations around suicide and suicidal behaviour, and improve access to existing suicide prevention services.|
|Wellways Australia||Young people||Delivery of local and state-wide social media campaigns to build awareness of support pathways available to young people in times of increased stress, suicide risk or isolation. This will include a range of culturally diverse video campaigns.|
The $8 million investment is in addition to the $87 million commitment to Towards Zero Suicides – a NSW Premier’s Priority.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000.
For anyone who is struggling, you can call the below helplines
Lifeline 13 11 14 | Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 | NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511.