ACT to implement world-class suicide prevention initiative
Published: 6 June, 2017
ACT Government announces $1.5million support for Black Dog Institute to implement the LifeSpan suicide prevention approach.
Today, the ACT Government has taken strides to stem this rising tide, announcing $1.5million support for the implementation of a world-class approach to suicide prevention led by the Black Dog Institute.
Called LifeSpan, the initiative involves the simultaneous implementation of nine strategies proven to reduce suicide. It is based on the most up-to-date evidence available and draws from positive results of similar, large-scale suicide prevention programs overseas.
According to international evidence, implementation of the LifeSpan program has the potential to prevent at least 21% of suicide deaths, and 30% of suicide attempts.
ACT Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury highlighted the ACT Government’s commitment to addressing suicide through evidence-based intervention programs such as LifeSpan.
“In 2015 there were 46 deaths attributable to suicide in the ACT, and each of these deaths is a tragedy,” Minister Rattenbury said. “Sadly, we know that among the largest risk factors of suicide is a previous suicide attempt.
“Programs such as LifeSpan, together with the newly established Ministry for Mental Health, will help ensure that those in need of support receive this at the earliest possible opportunity, and throughout the course of their recovery.”
Black Dog Institute LifeSpan Director Rachel Green welcomes the announcement and applauds the focus that the ACT Government has placed on mental health and suicide.
“To date, suicide prevention efforts have been fragmented in terms of geography, funding and coordination,” Green says.
“We’re particularly pleased that the ACT has chosen to support a suicide prevention program that is based on scientific evidence, integrated with existing services and tailored to the needs of the local ACT community.
“This funding will enable local tailoring and implementation of the LifeSpan program across the ACT in partnership with the government and Office of Mental Health.”
The LifeSpan program is currently being implemented across four pilot sites in NSW - Newcastle, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Gosford/Wyong and the Murrumbidgee – with other Australian sites in the pipeline.
More information about LifeSpan can be found at www.lifespan.org.au.
Emily Cook, Black Dog Institute: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Gardner, ACT Greens MLAs: email@example.com
If you or someone you know is in crisis please call one of the following national helplines:
LIFELINE COUNSELLING SERVICE: 13 11 14
SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE: 1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)