Evaluation of suicide prevention activities

3.5 Taking Action to Tackle Suicide

Page last updated: January 2014

The Commonwealth Response to The Hidden Toll: Suicide in Australia was tabled on 24 November 2010 and included details of the TATS package. The TATS package provides further support for suicide prevention through universal and population-wide approaches and through community led responses. This investment seeks to strengthen and further build on proven strategies in suicide prevention in the following four areas:

  1. More frontline services and support for those at greatest risk of suicide:
    • More community-based psychology services (through expansion of ATAPS Suicide Prevention Program (see Chapter 11)
  2. More services to prevent suicide and boost crisis intervention services:
    • Boost capacity of crisis lines
    • Mental Health First Aid training for frontline community workers
    • Infrastructure for suicide hotspots
    • Community prevention activities for high-risk groups (including Indigenous people; men; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people; and families bereaved by suicide)13
    • Outreach teams to schools through the headspace School Support program
  3. Target men who are at greatest risk of suicide:
    • Expansion of the National Workplace Program delivered by beyondblue
    • Increased helpline capacity
    • Targeted campaigns on depression and reducing stigma
  4. Programs to promote good mental health and resilience in young people:
    • Expansion of the KidsMatter primary school program
    • Additional services for at-risk children through the ATAPS child mental health service
    • Online mental health and counselling services.
For the period 2011-12 to 2015-16, the total investment under the TATS package is $292.4 million.14 The TATS package funding represents an additional funding source to the NSPP, which fills some of the gaps in the NSPP that were identified through the Senate Inquiry into Suicide. In some instances, the TATS package has provided additional funding to NSPP-funded projects. This includes $4.8 million to expand the Wesley LifeForce project, and $6.9 million to improve access to bereavement services through the StandBy Suicide Bereavement Response Service. In addition, $1.1 million was provided to the National LGBTI Health Alliance to deliver the MindOUT! project.

A number of other recommendations from the report on the Senate Inquiry into Suicide have also been acted upon by the Australian Government. These include the development of a suicide prevention strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (see Section 3.9) and alignment of state/territory suicide prevention strategies to the LIFE Framework under the auspice of the Australian Health Ministers' Conference.15

13 Includes $6 million quarantined for community-based prevention activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
14 Department of Health and Ageing, Programs: Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package, DoHA, Canberra, 2013, accessed 9 April 2013.
15 Department of Health and Ageing, Commonwealth response to The Hidden Toll: Suicide in Australia, DoHA, Canberra, 2010, accessed 23 April 2013.