The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. David Coleman MP
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister
for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
The Hon. Ken Wyatt MP
Minister for Indigenous Australians
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
14 May 2022
More support for culturally safe Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander suicide prevention
The Morrison Government is investing more than $9.6 million in additional suicide prevention resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The funding forms part of the $114 million National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Programme (NSPLSP) grant opportunity, a key pillar of our Government’s historic National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan first announced in the 2021-22 Budget.
The NSPLSP is supporting key suicide prevention activities across several significant themes, including national leadership, research and training, education and awareness, lived experience in suicide prevention, youth suicide prevention, Indigenous suicide prevention, men’s suicide prevention and veteran’s suicide prevention.
The Indigenous suicide prevention component announced today provides more than $9.6 million over three years from 2022-23 to 2024-25 for key organisations to deliver national services to support the mental health and wellbeing of younger Australians.
Successful organisations include:
- The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), who will receive $3.5 million to deliver the Suicide Story program – a unique suicide prevention education and training program developed by Aboriginal people, for Aboriginal people.
- The University of Western Australia (UWA), who will receive $3 million to continue establishing best practice in Indigenous suicide prevention and provide impactful leadership in policy and the development of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to prevent suicide and self-harm.
- The Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council Aboriginal Corporation, who will receive $1 million to expand its delivery of culturally based resources to improve Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing.
- The Menzies School of Health Research, who will receive $2.1 million for the development of an app, co-designed by young First Nations people, to help prevent suicides and suicidal behaviour.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the Government was deeply committed to a goal of zero suicides, recognising the value of every single life.
“All Australians deserve to receive compassionate and effective mental health care that meets their individual needs,” Minister Hunt said.
“This is particularly important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who experience worse mental health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians and who continue to die by suicide at more than twice the rate of the overall population.
“Culturally appropriate mental health and wellbeing support is vital to protect and save lives.”
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the projects would continue to build best practice and leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention.
“There is a significant need to increase access to culturally appropriate mental health care and social and emotional wellbeing services in order to close the gap in health outcomes and life expectancy,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“Our Government is prioritising investment for vulnerable population groups and has committed to a target of significant and sustained reduction in suicides of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.”
Suicide prevention is a key pillar of the Government’s landmark $3 billion 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.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, added that the plan had the capability to significantly improve Indigenous health.
“This Plan delivers several important initiatives to address the disproportionate and devastating impact of suicide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Minister Wyatt said.
“In addition to the funding announced today, $16.6 million has been funded to establish an Indigenous-staffed and led 24/7 crisis line (13 YARN), $27.3 million for culturally appropriate aftercare services and $23.8 million for local community-based suicide prevention networks.”
“The Plan also includes $8.6 million to establish the National Closing the Gap Policy Partnership on Social and Emotional Wellbeing and $8.5 million for the Red Dust Program which delivers social and emotional wellbeing services in the Northern Territory, announced in the 2022-23 Budget.”
The Morrison Government has made mental health and suicide prevention a national priority. Since 2012–13, the 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.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline
(13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au). Indigenous Australians can also contact 13 YARN (13 92 76; www.13YARN.org.au) for free and confidential 24/7 support delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
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.