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Government welcomes Senate Suicide Prevention Report



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THE HON MARK BUTLER MP Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

24 November 2010

Government Welcomes Senate Suicide Prevention Report

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler today outlined the Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry into Suicide in Australia - The Hidden Toll: Suicide in Australia - which was released by the Senate Community Affairs References Committee in June this year.

“We have already undertaken significant work across the whole of government to identify population groups at higher risk of suicide and to put in place appropriate assistance for those affected,” Mr Butler said.

“However, we also recognise that more work needs to be done.

“Prime Minister Gillard identified mental health as an important second-term agenda item for the Government and has committed an additional $274 million over four years for the Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package.

“This will provide more services to those at greatest risk of suicide, fund more direct suicide prevention and crisis intervention, provide more services and support to men who are at greatest risk of suicide, and promote good mental health and resilience in young people.

“The Labor Government, through the National Suicide Prevention Program, also funds a number of national and local initiatives to reduce the incidence of suicide and self harm, and to promote mental health and resilience across the Australian population.

“Under the program we will invest $23.8 million in 2010-11, almost triple the $8.6 million provided in 2005-06 under the former Howard Government.

“This builds on the Government’s $1.4 billion commitment to mental health initiatives over the next four years.”

Mr Butler said the Government welcomes the recommendations made in the report, and has already made significant progress in implementing many recommendations.

This includes improving the accuracy of recording suicide data, increasing the evidence-base for suicide prevention activity through the establishment of the National Centre of Excellence in Suicide Prevention, and providing additional support for those at risk of suicide through the Access To Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Initiative.

The Government will be working with state and territory governments and stakeholder and community organisations to determine the remaining recommendations.

For more information, please contact Mr Butler’s office on 02 6277 7280