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
19 May 2022
More than $5 million for suicide prevention in Western Australia
A re-elected Morrison Government will invest a further $5.4 million to ensure that Western Australians have continued and expanded access to vital suicide prevention services.
Provided through the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan outlined in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 Budgets, the funding includes $3 million to continue postvention services to support individuals and communities bereaved or impacted by suicide, and $2.4 million to establish a Distress Brief Intervention Trial Program in WA to prevent and reduce suicidal behaviour.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the Government remains committed to working towards zero suicides and ensuring appropriate supports are in place for those at risk.
“In 2020, more than 3000 Australians died by suicide. Each life lost is a tragedy, and has an immense impact on individuals, families and communities,” Minister Hunt said.
“The Morrison Government is investing record funding to develop a more effective and compassionate mental health and suicide prevention system to help protect and save lives.”
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said people who have lost loved ones to suicide are at much higher risk of suicide than the general population.
“For each life lost to suicide, the impacts are felt by up to 135 people, including family members, work colleagues, friends and first responders,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“This additional funding will ensure that postvention services can continue across the state and provide much needed support to Western Australians at risk of or impacted by suicide.
“The Distress Intervention Trial Program will also help reduce suicide, by reaching people who are showing early signs of mental distress or difficulty. The program is designed to support frontline workers in government service settings to identify people in distress, respond compassionately and refer them to dedicated support.”
This new funding follows the signing of a bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and WA governments in April, which will deliver more than $61.5 million in mental health and suicide prevention services, including universal aftercare for all Western Australians discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt, the establishment of a Head to Health Kids Hub and new eating disorder services.
In addition, the Morrison Government will provide more than $81 million to significantly expand the network of headspace and Head to Health adult mental health services across the state.
The Morrison Government has made mental health and suicide prevention a national priority, and is investing a record $3 billion in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 Budgets for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to deliver landmark reform of the mental health and suicide prevention system.
This brings the Health portfolio expenditure in mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2022–23 to a record high of $6.8 billion.
Unlike the Labor Party, which cut mental health funding when last in Government and has not given Australians any detail on their plans for mental health in the future, the Morrison Government will continue to ensure that all Australians can access information, advice, counselling, or treatment, when and where they need it.
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.
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.