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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8465


Ms CLAYDON (Newcastle) (10:31): Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. The theme for this year is Working Together to Prevent Suicide. This theme was chosen because it highlights the most essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention—that is, collaboration. We've all got a role to play. We know that in Australia eight people die by suicide each day. That's more than 2,800 lives lost every year. There are 65,000 people who attempt suicide and hundreds of thousands of people who think of suicide. I think we should just take a moment to contemplate the pain and suffering that is felt by every single person impacted by suicide. Suicide cuts across all walks of life. It affects men and women, young and old. It has particularly devastating impacts for our First Nations people, our rural communities and for men in their 30s, 40s and 50s. As policymakers we have a critical responsibility to drive the legislation that can help turn this around. But, equally, we play a vital role in each of our own communities.

I'm pleased that my home city of Newcastle is one of the first trial sites for the Black Dog Institute's LifeSpan suicide prevention trial. In this trial, health services, non-government organisations like suicide prevention experts Everymind, local businesses, and people with lived experience work together to implement evidence based programs. I want to give a special shout-out to Jaelea Skehan and her terrific team for driving this, as well as to the Newcastle Herald for being a very proactive partner in this important project.

While organisations and services have a role in preventing suicide, so does every community member. We know that people will often talk to a family member, friend or colleague first. Each and every one of us needs to know how to ask that question: 'Are you thinking about suicide?' And we need to know what to do if someone says: 'Yes, I am.' We want at least 6,000 members of our community in Newcastle to sign up to do what is known as the QPR—or Question, Persuade and Refer. This one-hour online training module helps people build the knowledge, confidence and skills to recognise and respond to a suicide crisis. Just as we all know the benefits of CPR, we also need to know QPR skills. We know people who are struggling can reach out to anyone at any time, including us as local members. (Time expired)