July 28, 2016


Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard today welcomed the news that the Ballarat Local Government Area (LGA) had been selected as trial site to develop place-based suicide prevention strategies.

The initiative is part of a plan by the Andrews Government to halve the rate of suicide over the next 10 years.

“Twice as many lives are lost in Victoria due to suicide than the road toll,” Mr Howard said.

“Suicide is complex but preventable.

“It’s an issue that’s often uncomfortable to talk about but one that leaves many questions that are impossible to reconcile for family and friends that are left behind.

“This trial will help us determine how we can better reach-out to people and communities that are most at risk of suicide, including an early response to those most vulnerable to the impacts of stress, discrimination or emotional vulnerability.

“This will help develop a local co-ordinated suicide prevention strategy including greater awareness of the services available in the community.”

The government is providing $27 million for new suicide prevention investments including local community approaches which help which help support communities implement strategies such as workforce training, school-based support and mental health literacy programs within six LGAs. A further six locations have been selected to trial intensive community based support, including assertive outreach for those that have attended a hospital after a suicide attempt.

The areas for the trial locations are based of the prevalence of suicide in Victoria, population and community demographics, as well as local capacity.

This investment is a key component of the Government’s 10 Year Mental Health Plan which ensures we have a coordinated, integrated approach to mental health which ensures Victorians can access mental health services in the right place and at the right time.

More information on the trials can be found at www.mentalhealthplan.vic.gov.au.