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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 11560

Practical Support for Suicide Prevention

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 12/10/2000

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 11560

I am pleased during this, National Mental Health Week, to announce Commonwealth funding of $2.9 million for suicide prevention projects and the launch of the new National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention.

I am also pleased to announce that the Commonwealth Government will commit an additional $100,000 each year to the youth counseling service, Kids Help Line.

The National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention has been established to advise on implementation of the Commonwealth Government's National Suicide Prevention Strategy, a $48 million five-year commitment to suicide prevention.

The strategy aims to build partnerships within local communities between government, community and non-government organisations that support people at risk of suicide. It is another example of the social coalition at work in tackling difficult problems within our society. The Strategy supports Kids Help Line, Lifeline and the youth oriented Internet help site Reach Out!.

I am heartened to see communities coming together to battle this terrible problem, which affects so many Australians and is so distressing in a country that offers such tremendous opportunities, especially to our young.

The grants totalling $2.9 million being announced today will support a wide range of projects in Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, including rural and remote suicide prevention programs, projects to promote resilience in schools and research into Indigenous suicide.

The Government already provides $670,000 a year to Kids Help Line, but there is increasing community demand for this service. The increased funding of $100,000 each year will allow Kids Help Line to take an additional 15,400 calls each year - that's about an extra 42 kids who can be helped by the counseling service each day.

This support is particularly needed in rural and remote regions of Australia, where youth suicide rates are high and the telephone is often the only source of confidential help available to young people. In this context, an early task of the National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention will be to oversee a review into all national tele-counseling services to assess the role they play in mental health promotion and suicide prevention.

The National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention will take over the role of the National Advisory Council on Youth Suicide Prevention, with a membership and structure that brings wide expertise and representation to target activities across the whole age spectrum.

In advising the Minister for Health and Aged Care on the funding of projects, the National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention is expected to give highest priority to community-based suicide prevention services. Other key objectives for the Council are development of an evidence base for suicide prevention and advising on an effective communications strategy.

12 October 2000

Transcript 11560