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Guide to help reach people at risk of suicide.



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THE HON CHRISTOPHER PYNE MP Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone: (02) 6277 4842 Facsimile: (02) 6277 8581

7 February 2007 CP07/07

Guide to help reach people at risk of suicide

Intervention by concerned relatives and friends could be crucial in helping to prevent suicide, but people needed to be aware of the signs that someone was at risk, the Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, said today.

Mr Pyne made the comments when launching Helping Someone at Risk of Suicide, a brochure which provides guidance on ways to help someone who might be at risk of taking their own life.

“All Australians are affected by the serious issue of suicide,” Mr Pyne said.

“While recent data shows an encouraging downward trend in overall rates, in 2004 more than 2,000 people took their own lives. This is an enormous loss to the community, and to the family and friends left behind.

“There are many things someone can do if they are worried that someone close to them is considering taking their own life. This brochure, which has been developed with the help of Lifeline and the National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention, is a guide to recognising the signs of someone at risk, and what to do if you are concerned.

“It also includes a list of 24-hour crisis telephone counselling services in each state and territory, including dedicated services for rural areas, as well as support services and web sites.”

The brochure can be downloaded from the LIFE suicide prevention web site: www.livingisforeveryone.com.au

or at www.auseinet.com/files/life/suicprev_brochure.pdf

The Council of Australian Governments package on Mental Health Reforms includes an additional $62.4 million over five years to expand suicide prevention programs. The launch of Helping Someone at Risk of Suicide follows Mr Pyne’s announcement on 12 October last year of funding of $23.5 million for 46 community-based suicide-prevention projects, and of $9.2 million for four national projects.

Media contact: Adam Howard 0400 414 833