Central West Lifeline chief executive officer Stephanie Robinson has welcomed a $90 million package from the NSW government to help prevent suicides.
The funding, which is part of the Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW 2018-2023, will also aid people who have been admitted to hospital following an attempted suicide.
“Those who have reached out for help will have access to follow up care and support under a new comprehensive strategy that marks the beginning of our journey towards zero suicides,” a NSW government statement read.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics data suggests that the biggest [suicide] rate increase was in urban-regional areas like Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo.Central West Lifeline chief executive officer Stephanie Robinson
Ms Robinson said the funding was significant and “a good beginning”.
“Suicide rates are way too high and it is a national emergency,” she said.
According to government data, 880 people committed suicide in the state last year, more than double the state’s road accident deaths.
The suicide rate was highest among the 15 to 45 years age group.
Ms Robinson said suicide was more prevalent in regional areas.
“The Australian Bureau of Statistics data suggests that the biggest [suicide] rate increase was in urban-regional areas like Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo,” she explained.
“That’s the concern for us and we would be working very hard to reduce it.”
Ms Robinson said Central West Lifeline will be approaching the public health networks for funding.
She said the organisation is focusing on recruiting, training and retaining volunteers and crisis supporters.
“We are also doing a lot of work on digital transformation services. Our goal is to train an army of gatekeepers so that signs of suicide are not dismissed or avoided,” she said.
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below …