Suicide Prevention

Media release – Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, 21 July 2021

WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO PREVENT SUICIDE

Every death by suicide is a devastating loss – for families, for friends, work mates, and for communities.

It is important to recognise the reasons people take their own life are complex, and not always connected to mental illness.

The Tasmanian Government is working hard with our health service, community partners, and all levels of government to ensure Tasmanians know where to go to receive the support they need, in line with Tasmania’s Suicide Prevention Strategy.

We need to know as much as we can about the stressors that people who die by suicide are experiencing, and use this knowledge to inform more targeted suicide prevention initiatives. It is also absolutely vital we listen to and work with health professionals and experts in this area, and that is exactly what we are doing.

The Tasmanian Suicide Register, established in 2017, is one of the most powerful tools we have to give us greater understanding, and along with other new and evolving analysis, is putting us in a much stronger position to target assistance for people at risk of suicide, and make sure that the services we fund are the right mix and are available at the right place and at the right time.

The Way Back Support Service, jointly funded by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, will commence in coming months, and be delivered by Anglicare Tasmania to provide intensive support for Tasmanians aged 15 to 65 plus for up to three months following a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis.

As part of the Government’s Tasmanian Mental Health Reform Program, we are developing an integrated suicide response that connects after care support functions with a community based crisis response.

The updated Rethink 2020 Plan also includes suicide prevention as a priority area, and an implementation plan is currently being finalised for release in coming weeks.

The Tasmanian Government is also working with the Australian Government, and other jurisdictions, to finalise the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement later this year.

All Tasmanians can play a role in suicide prevention by:

  • Giving people a sense of belonging or a feeling of connectedness;
  • Reducing stigma;
  • Listening without judgment, showing compassion, and instilling hope;
  • And importantly, developing their skills to recognise and support someone in crisis – including to encourage the seeking of professional help if required.

We can each make a difference by regularly checking in with the people around us and encouraging discussion.

I encourage all elected representatives, irrespective of political views to work together alongside people with the relevant expertise and stakeholders to do all that is possible to prevent the tragedy of suicide.

Assistance is available 24/7 by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Importantly, if anyone is in immediate danger, they should call triple zero immediately.