A bold new plan to tackle Queensland’s suicide rate has been released by the Queensland Government today.
Every life: The Queensland Suicide Prevention Plan 2019-2029 was launched by Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles at the World Suicide Prevention Day community forum in Brisbane.
“Suicide rates in Queensland are higher than the national average, and that is not acceptable,” Mr Miles said.
“In 2017, 804 Queenslanders lost their lives to suicide, and it was the leading cause of death for Queenslanders aged 15 to 44. Despite investment in suicide prevention, rates have continued to rise.
“Every loss of life or suicide attempt has a ripple effect on family, friends, workplaces, schools, and communities.”
The Palaszczuk Government’s State Budget 2019-20 provided investment of $80.1 million over four years for suicide prevention initiatives, including funding for school-based mental health support, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention initiatives and enhanced crisis care.
“This is the most invested in suicide prevention in Queensland by any state government,” Mr Miles said.
“This major investment will make a real difference to the lives of Queenslanders vulnerable to suicide or experiencing mental health and alcohol and other drug challenges”
This investment includes:
- $7.5 million for the Beyond Blue Way Back suicide prevention service
- $10.8 million over four years for Safe Haven Cafes
- New community-based and peer support alternatives to Emergency Departments
- An additional $28 million for community mental health support services
- Community-led suicide prevention initiatives to tackle Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth suicides, and
- Establishing a more collaborative and integrated system of mental health crisis care in Queensland.
Acting Queensland Mental Health Chief Executive Officer Dr Leanne Geppert said the implementation of the Every life plan would help achieve the Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s priorities plan target of halving Queensland suicide rates by 2026.
“This is an evidence-based, action-orientated plan. It acknowledges all the work we’ve done in the past and aims to promote community resilience, reduce vulnerability to suicide, improve suicide care, and support joint planning and delivery of suicide prevention programs,” Dr Geppert said.
“We’ve listened to people with lived experience of suicide, community members, government and community service providers, policy makers and academic experts.
“This is a whole-of-community approach, based on the best possible evidence, tailored to meet the needs of vulnerable people, but also with strategies to target the entire population,” she said.
“We all need to work together to reduce the terrible toll of suicide deaths and suicide attempts in Queensland. We all need to work together to save lives.”
The 10-year Every life plan, developed by the Queensland Mental Health Commission in collaboration with a range of Queensland Government agencies, aligns with World Health Organisation recommendations and includes 60 specific actions to be implemented in its first three-year phase.