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4 July 2017

National Suicide Prevention Trial comes to Port Augusta

A community forum, hosted by Country SA Primary Health Network and Black Dog Institute, has been held in Port Augusta to give input into the Federal Government’s $3 million suicide prevention trial in the local area.

Country SA PHN is one of the 12 locations across Australia taking part in the National Suicide Prevention trial which aims to tackle the problem at a regional level to help those in need.

The Australian Government will provide $3 million to Country SA PHN to run the trial over three years - providing significant resources to rural South Australia - including Port Augusta.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the Turnbull Government had committed to leaving no stone unturned in its approach to preventing suicide and reducing suicidal behaviour.

At last year’s election we committed $34 million over three years for suicide prevention trials in priority areas such as regional South Australia,” he said.

“We have also allocated an additional $3 million so that Black Dog Institute can work with PHNs to initiate a range of suicide prevention programs based on the very best scientific evidence available.

“I am delighted to see that work on the regional South Australia suicide prevention trial is well underway.

“Suicide exacts a terrible toll on families and often claims people in the prime of their lives.

“It is very concerning suicide rates in regional areas are higher than metropolitan areas.

“Many reasons including social isolation, economic stressors and a lack of available services in rural areas could all be factors contributing to the high rate of suicide amongst farmers and agricultural workers with some evidence suggesting the suicide rate is almost double in that sector,” said Rowan Ramsey.

“We’re very pleased to be one of the national trial sites. This funding is the most significant investment we’ve seen in regional suicide prevention for some time and provides us with a unique opportunity to help shape future suicide prevention policy,” said Country SA PHN, Chief Executive, Kim Hosking.

“This trial allows us to gather better evidence on how we can help to prevent suicide in regional South Australia and provides the funds to assist these services – targeting those most ‘at risk’.”

People at high risk of suicide include regional Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, young adult and middle aged men, young people and veterans.

The Black Dog Institute aims to reduce mental illness and the stigma around it to actively reduce suicide rates and empower everyone to live the most mentally healthy lives possible. It’s working with Country SA PHN to support its work in the National Suicide Prevention Trial in regional South Australia.

“We are excited to be working collaboratively to support the local community to adapt and develop suicide prevention strategies to meet their needs, by providing support and access to a range of available international and indigenous led research,” said the Black Dog Institute’s Rachel Green.

“It’s been really exciting to hear from the local community leaders, they have a strong understanding of the need for their families and communities and I look forward to learning from them and working with the Country SA PHN on their implementation of suicide prevention initiatives.”

The trials findings will help to shape future Australian Government suicide prevention policy.

For anyone who may be impacted by this information, we encourage you to seek support.
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78

Contact for Rowan Ramsey MP - Leonie Lloyd-Smith (08) 86331744, Lloyd-Smith, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Inquiries: Kate Dorsey, Michels Warren PR on 0417 811 010

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