Federal Budget: What does it mean for suicide prevention and workplace mental health?
Published: 3 April, 2019
Black Dog Institute welcomes the Federal Budget’s focus on a national suicide data system, mentally healthy workplaces and Indigenous suicide prevention.
The Federal Government has announced $15m for an Australian Suicide Prevention Intelligence System, $11.5m for Mentally Healthy Workplaces and says it will pledge $15m for Indigenous Suicide Prevention.
$15m for Australian Suicide Prevention Intelligence System
Australia will now have access to timely national data to inform health services and policymakers working to reduce the suicide rate in Australia.
The Federal Government pledged that it will establish a national system for timely collection and communication of statistics and information on self-harm and suicide to help communities across the country respond early to emerging problems.
The Black Dog Institute welcomes this life-saving measure, following over a decade of rising suicide rates in Australia.
“At Black Dog we are delighted to see real investment by government as we know that data is a prerequisite to understanding the determinants of our suicide rate. Communities, government and service providers need better data intelligence to understand how to drive down the suicide rate in Australia”, Professor Helen Christensen AO, Chief Scientist at Black Dog Institute said.
Over the past two years, Black Dog Institute, in partnership with SAS Global Analytics and ANU, has led the creation of Australia’s first data platform to link coronial, ambulance and hospital data, and use geospatial mapping and analysis to identify suicide clusters, trends and rates at the regional level.
Demographic and social risk factors also form part of this analysis, allowing us to both confirm and refute what we previously thought we knew about suicide in our communities, and enabling better and more targeted service provision. This analysis is currently provided to our NSW LifeSpan Trial sites, and many of the National Suicide Prevention Trial sites. This data analysis and evidence is a powerful resource for research, policy, community planning and evaluation.
This development builds on five years of ground-breaking work undertaken through Black Dog Institute’s NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention, also the first of its type in Australia.
Through data-driven decision-making, Black Dog looks forward to working with partners in the future to improve service provision and policy to reduce suicide and self-harm rates across Australia.
$15m for Indigenous Suicide Prevention
Black Dog Institute also welcomes the Federal Budget announcement that says it will pledge $15m to empower Indigenous suicide prevention. The government’s decision to ensure funding responds to this critical issue by addressing cultural and lived experience is commended. This complements the work being led by our partners in the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention, who have demonstrated leadership in identifying, translating and promoting the adoption of best practice in Indigenous-specific suicide prevention activities.
Joint Black Dog and CBPATSISP Resources:
- We are not the problem, we are part of the solution: Indigenous Lived Experience Project Report
- Indigenous Governance for Suicide Prevention in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities- A Guide for Primary Health Networks
- Implementing Integrated Suicide Prevention in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities- A Guide for Primary Health Networks
$11.5m for Mentally Healthy Workplaces
As part of the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, Black Dog Institute also welcomes the Federal Budget announcement that will see $11.5m allocated towards establishing a nationally consistent approach for creating mentally healthy workplaces across the country.
The government’s decision to focus resources in this area complements the work already done at the Black Dog Institute, which has a research stream dedicated to workplace mental health.
The Black Dog Institute’s Workplace Mental Health Research Team is led by Black Dog Institute’s Chief Psychiatrist, Associate Professor Samuel Harvey. This workplace research team is an Australian first, dedicated to developing and delivering world-leading mental health research, products and training programs to workplaces across the country.
With research showing that mental illness is now the leading cause of sickness absence and long-term work incapacity costing the Australian economy $12 billion per year in lost productivity, the government’s dedication to improving workplace mental health comes at a much-needed time for Australian workers.
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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)