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Estimates: National Suicide Prevention Strategy Questions on Notice

Senate Community Affairs Committee
Health and Ageing Portfolio

Outcome 11 - Mental Health
Question No. E12-065

Senator WRIGHT: 

Please detail the progress of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy. For example, what are its main objectives; is there an overall framework or strategy document that is publically available; what are the main programs that fall under the strategy and has its overall effectiveness been evaluated?

Answer:

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Greens applaud suicide assistance program

Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, today welcomed an announcement the Federal Government will invest $20 million into a headspace program to assist schools deal with suicides.

"When a young person commits suicide, it is devastating for so many people, including their peers and teachers," Senator Wright said.

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World Suicide Prevention Day motion

We move that the Senate

(a) notes that:
(i) Monday, 10th September 2012, is World Suicide Prevention Day;

(b) recognises that:
(i) Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for men under 44 years of age and women under 34 years of age;
(ii) The most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports death due to suicide at 2,132 people per year, which amounts to 6 deaths by suicide a day or one every 4 hours;
(iii) Suicide remains underreported and estimates suggest that the total number of deaths could be as high as 2,500 a year;

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Work together to reduce suicide numbers: Greens

Commemorating today's World Suicide Prevention Day, Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, said more community awareness and accurate data on suicide were needed to address the high incidence of suicide in Australia.

Senator Wright will move a motion in the Senate today that calls on all governments to promote public awareness and remove barriers to the accurate collection of suicide data in Australia, as recommended in the 2010 Senate committee report The Hidden Toll: Suicide in Australia.

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Questions Without Notice: Indigenous Suicide

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (14:43): My question is to Senator Ludwig representing both the Minister for Indigenous Health and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing. My question relates to the government's response to the tragic incidence of youth suicide in Indigenous communities. This has recently been highlighted by the Northern Territory inquiry into youth suicide. Unfortunately, this problem is not a new phenomenon. In June 2010 the Senate Community Affairs References Committee report The hidden toll: suicide in Australia acknowledged these issues.

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