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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13400

Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (16:15): Last week I had the great privilege to meet our local StandBy Response unit. The StandBy Response Service is a suicide prevention service. They support people who have lost a loved one to suicide. Locally, in the Loddon Mallee area, it is the Bendigo Community Health Services team that coordinates this vital service.

The StandBy Response Service was established in 2002 by a not-for-profit organisation based on the Sunshine Coast. It now operates in 10 other communities across Australia, including my own in Bendigo. We all know that suicide is hard. It is hard, particularly, for loved ones to cope with. That is why this service is so vital. They offer 24/7 phone support and face-to-face support assessing individuals' needs. They work closely with our local police to be there at the most critical time.

It is a free service that is there to help with everything from making sure that kids get to school on time to talking to bosses and landlords about what may or may not need to happen. Critically, this service is funded by the Australian government. They have asked that I ask this government, in this place, to continue to fund this vital service for when people most need support. The StandBy Response Service is one we can be proud of. I call on the government to continue to fight for this service. (Time expired)