Bronnie Taylor MLC © Salty Dingo 2019 CRG

NSW Nationals Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor has announced the introduction of a new suicide monitoring system which will provide up-to-date data for health and support services about the number of suicide deaths across the state.

At the launch on Monday, Mrs Taylor said the system will deliver timely access to information on location, age, and gender to the government.

“This means that from right now, we will be able to make critical decisions about services and local health responses in communities where we can effectively see risks emerging in real time instead of reacting to year-old data,” Mrs Taylor said.

Mrs Taylor said that despite widespread public concern about the possible effects of COVID-19, bushfires and other factors on suicide rates, the first public report showed the number of suicide deaths in 2020 is tracking almost identically to the equivalent period in 2019.

“While every death by suicide is a tragedy, we need to underline that there has not been an overall spike in numbers in a year that has delivered so many challenges,” she said.

The next stage of the program will be to develop an enhanced data set, which will include information about the social, economic and other pressures a person may have experienced, as well as any previous contact with health services.

If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services:

• Lifeline 13 11 14
• Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
• NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511