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16    Health—World Suicide Prevention Day and RU OK Day

Senator McLucas, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 848—That the Senate—

    (a)   notes that Thursday 10 September 2015, is World Suicide Prevention Day and RU OK Day in Australia, and acknowledges that:

                  (i)   the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’, which is aimed at encouraging people to speak up and reduce the stigma of talking about suicide prevention safely, and

                 (ii)   World Suicide Prevention Day and RU OK Day is an opportunity to build awareness of the support and services available to everyone who has been touched by suicide;

    (b)   recognises the great work of the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention to draw attention to this issue, to make a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians and to help build resilient communities that work together to prevent suicide;

     (c)   notes that:

                  (i)   suicide rates remain unacceptably high, especially among vulnerable groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, young people and people from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] communities - nearly 2 500 people tragically die by suicide each year, with nearly twice as many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people dying by suicide than non-Indigenous people - and each day, seven people die by suicide in Australia,

                 (ii)   the National Mental Health Commission’s final report on the review of mental health programs and services recommends the development of an evidence-based National Suicide Prevention Framework as a priority,

                (iii)   the Commission’s report was handed to the Government on 1 December 2014 but was not formally released by the Government until 16 April 2015 after it was embarrassingly leaked, resulting in a 4 month delay in any action in response,

                (iv)   the sector is becoming increasingly frustrated because of the Government’s lack of action on implementing any of the recommendations contained within the National Mental Health Commission’s report, and

                 (v)   the mental health sector is facing difficulties because of the lack of funding certainty beyond June 2016, making it increasingly challenging for the sector to employ skilled workers and offer ongoing services to the people who need it most; and

    (d)   urges the Government to announce its plans for a transformed mental health system which will give certainty and confidence to people living with mental illness, their families and carers, and the organisations that support them in the very near future.

Statements by leave : The Assistant Minister for Social Services (Senator Fifield) and Senator McLucas, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.




The Deputy President (Senator Marshall) reminded senators of the Procedure Committee’s second report of 2011 and its consideration of standing order 66 relating to procedures for dealing with formal motions and in particular, statements being made by leave which may amount to de facto debate.



Question put and passed.