The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Federal Member for Flinders
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. David Coleman MP
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Embedding lived experience and peer support in suicide prevention
The Morrison Government is ensuring lived experience plays a key role in the delivery of mental health wellbeing and suicide prevention programs, investing in a range of projects that support those with a lived experience of suicide to engage in the development of suicide prevention research, services and programs.
Funded through the 2021-22 Budget’s expansion of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Support grant programme, more than $22 million in funding will go to established organisations including Roses in the Ocean and the Black Dog Institute to deliver innovative lived experience and peer support projects across the nation.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the Government recognised the vital role of lived experience and peer support.
“We heard from the National Suicide Prevention Adviser that lived experience is absolutely central to best practice in suicide prevention,” Minister Hunt said.
“I am very pleased that, through this additional funding, the Morrison Government is strengthening a range of organisations that support the integration of lived experience into suicide prevention governance, leadership and services.”
Importantly, many of the projects will provide support to rural and remote communities, which have a pressing need for mental health and wellbeing services.
Roses in the Ocean will continue to lead work on national recommendations for integrating lived experience in policies and programs, develop and support lived experience leaders, and support and grow the suicide prevention peer workforce.
Roses in the Ocean will also establish Pop Up Safe Spaces in rural communities, providing a non-clinical alternative to the emergency department for people in suicidal distress.
The Black Dog Institute will develop a network of lived experience participants to support and contribute to the national rollout of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Regional Suicide Prevention Networks.
You Turn Limited will also receive additional support for the StandBy program, which provides support to those bereaved or impacted by suicide, as it builds partnerships with states and territories through the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement.
Rural and Remote Medical Services will establish a peer-to-peer prevention program through community sporting clubs, while Anglican Community Services will support suicide prevention for senior Australians.
This $22 million package forms part of the latest $114 million round of our Government’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program, which was extended and expanded through the 2021-22 Budget.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the projects would be of great benefit to people suffering distress, and also to those who had similar experiences in the past.
“Through the grant program, our Government is ensuring people with lived experience and the peer workforce are strengthened and supported to help others,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
Suicide prevention is a key pillar of the Morrison Government’s landmark National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
The Plan recognises Australians deserve a system that acts early to help people before mental health conditions and suicidal distress worsen, and that whole-of-government and whole-of-community changes are needed to deliver preventative, compassionate, and effective care.
Since 2012–13, the Coalition Government’s investment through the Health portfolio in mental health and suicide prevention has more than doubled, growing from $3.3 billion to an estimated $6.8 billion in the 2022–23 Budget.
This is in stark contrast to Mr Albanese’s time in Cabinet, where Labor cut funding for mental health.
In the 2011-12 Budget, Labor announced a $580 million cut to Medicare subsidised mental health services, including a reduction in the number of Medicare sessions available under Better Access from 18 to 10 per year and a reduction in Medicare rebate for preparation of mental health treatment plans by GPs.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline
(13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.
If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.