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Minister Butler attends Mount Isa Community Forum



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THE HON MARK BUTLER MP

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

MEDIA RELEASE

6 October 2011

MINISTER BUTLER ATTENDS MOUNT ISA COMMUNITY FORUM

The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, today joined the Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter at a community forum to discuss suicide prevention measures in Mount Isa.

The forum was hosted by Mr Katter and also attended by the State Member for Mount Isa, Betty Kiernan.

Bereaved families, people affected by suicide, community organisations and service providers met over several hours to discuss the need to talk more openly about suicide and how to address the issue of suicide in the community.

"Any person taking their own life is a tragedy that deeply affects their family and community and the high rate of suicide in Mount Isa is something we are determined to tackle," Mr Butler said.

"Suicide is not something easily spoken about by most people but it's preventable. It's absolutely essential that, as a community, we openly discuss suicide and how to reduce its tragic impact.

"Today's community forum was an open, frank and emotional conversation and provided me with the opportunity to hear first hand from people affected by suicide, as well as community organisations and service providers who are delivering services on the ground.

“What I saw at today’s forum was the community’s strong resolve to tackle the issue of suicide together and address the recent spate of suicides. The Mount Isa community produced a list of actions that I will take away to consider and investigate.

“The Prime Minister shares my concerns about the high rate of suicide in Mount Isa and I will also report back to her the outcomes of today’s community forum.

“The issue of suicide needs to be tackled by all levels of Government and I welcome the commitment by the Commonwealth and State Governments, and community groups, to work together to address suicide in the community.”

Media contact: Virginia Kim, 0407 415 484