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Suicide prevention stronger in Loddon Mallee.



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Friday, 17 June 2005

John Forrest MP The Nationals Member for Mallee

Phone (03) 5032 4510 Fax (03) 5032 9407

SUICIDE PREVENTION STRONGER IN LODDON MALLEE

Suicide prevention in the Loddon Mallee area has been strengthened with the announcement by the Prime Minister on 8 June of new projects under the Australian Government’s National Suicide Prevention Strategy. The Prime Minister announced funding of $8 million for 49 projects nationally under the Strategy.

The Nationals Federal Member for Mallee, John Forrest said he was pleased to see that Loddon Mallee Primary Care Partnerships had been allocated $120,000 to progress initiatives from stage one funding for the effective follow up of self harming behaviours as part of this funding strategy.

“This funding will add to the support already being provided across the Loddon Mallee under the National Suicide Prevention Strategy,” Mr Forrest said.

Ms Linda Kelly, Executive Officer of Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership said that the funds would be utilised for local projects which reflect local community needs around suicide prevention. “We already have a number of projects operating within the region and these funds will help to strengthen our programme,” said Ms Kelly.

Mr Forrest said that suicide is a significant public health problem in Australia, with more than 2300 people dying each year, many within the Loddon Mallee.

“The provision of $120,000 for services in Loddon Mallee reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to reducing the incidence and impact of suicide in our community.”

“The Australian Government has provided $10 million annually since 1999 to support suicide prevention activities at both a national and local level. “By establishing partnerships within the local community, we can strengthen our ability to provide information and support for people at risk,” he said.

Mr Forrest said groups at risk of suicide include young men, the elderly, people with mental illnesses, those with substance abuse problems, rural and remote residents, Indigenous Australians and people in correctional institutions.

The National Suicide Prevention Strategy aims to help local communities build resources and expand and develop existing links with community and non-government organisations to support people at risk of suicide or self-harming behaviours.

Media Contact Sally Turvey (03) 5032 4510 -ends-