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Federal Budget: Suicide Prevention Peak Body Welcomes Investment in Wellbeing of Older Australians


9 May 2018

Canberra: National leadership body, Suicide Prevention Australia welcomes funding commitments to the health and wellbeing of older Australians alongside significant investment in core crisis support infrastructure, scaling of innovative trials in aftercare and a campaign inspired by personal stories of suicide attempt survivors.

Suicide Prevention Australia Chair Matthew Tukaki said of tonight's Budget announcements, "We applaud an increase in services to older people to live the lives they aspire to, and call for ongoing support for programs that seek to minimise social isolation and increase civic participation as a balanced way to address the growing trend of depression and suicidal ideation in older people."

In the Budget tonight, and in the days preceding, we saw a number of commitments to suicide prevention funding including:

$33.8m for Lifeline Australia crisis support services over the next four years $37.6 m for beyondblue and colleagues for the Way Back Support Service $12.4m to strengthen the National Mental Health Commission including expanded role under Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan $1.2m for SANE Australia's campaign inspired by personal stories of suicide attempt survivors

Mr Tukaki further comments, "The funding allocations specifically for suicide prevention are encouraging. Suicide Prevention Australia and its Members have long advocated for crisis support to be core funded infrastructure as well as investment in more effective hospital discharge planning and community care pathways."

"We are particularly pleased to see the voices of lived experience recognised with investment in a campaign to amplify personal stories of hope and recovery."

"Suicide is a complex public health issue that requires long term solutions. While the quantum of funding in suicide prevention is still yet to match the magnitude of the public health problem at hand, the 2018/19 Federal Health Budget is a step in the right direction."