Recommendation 256.132 The Committee recommends that the National Suicide Prevention Program include funding for projects to reduce access to means of suicide and prevention measures at identified 'suicide hotspots'. These interventions should be evidence based and in accordance with agreed guidelines.
ResponseThe Commonwealth Government supports this recommendation and has taken action to address it.
The Mental health: Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package includes:
- $18.2 million over three years for additional support to Lifeline Australia to place dedicated 24/7 Lifeline Emergency Telephone booths at notable suicide 'hotspots' so that people who are thinking about suicide have on the spot help. This builds on Lifeline Australia's two telephones already in place at The Gap, which are funded by the Australian Government. These two lines are directed to a dedicated 24/7 crisis support helpline manned by appropriately trained counsellors. Lifeline has been receiving calls from The Gap crisis phones since March 2010; and
- $9.0 million in capital funding over three years to improve safety and infrastructure at notable 'hotspots' by, for example, improving fencing barrier, night lighting and closed circuit television monitors.
- Erect barriers at well-known 'jump points' to restrict access;
- Establish dedicated 'suicide patrols' of volunteers or paid counsellors to patrol 'hotspot' areas;
- Train non-health staff to recognise people and situations of possible risk;
- Place signs at and near hotspots urging people to contact crisis lines and install telephone access points; and
- Work more closely with the media on the reporting of suicides.