Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Former Minister for Water; Mental Health

    Funding to encourage communities to talk and learn about suicide

    28/03/2010 12:00 AM

    The Liberal-National Government will provide funding of up to $40,000 to Lifeline’s ‘suicideTALK’ program to encourage communities to talk about suicide.


    Mental Health Minister Graham Jacobs said the funding would allow Lifeline to hold community education forums in two metropolitan (Stirling and Armadale) and three regional locations (Broome, Katanning, Toodyay), beginning next month.


    Every day about seven Australians die by suicide and for every person lost by suicide, there are about 30 others who have made an attempt.


    On average there are 238 deaths by suicide each year in Western Australia - that’s 23 per cent higher than the deaths caused on our roads,” Dr Jacobs said.


    “There's one person dying every four hours from suicide and one person attempting suicide every 15 minutes.


    “Suicide is often seen as a taboo subject. The tragedy is that many of these deaths could have been prevented if people were able and encouraged to talk about how they are feeling and to reach out for help.


    “One in 17 people will consider suicide each year. Getting support and information is crucial, particularly if you or someone you care about is at risk of harm.


    “As committed to during the election this State Government has earmarked $13million over the next four years to implement the Western Australian Suicide Prevention Strategy.


    “In addition to establishing WA’s first Mental Health Commission, the support for these forums and the Suicide Prevention Strategy show this Government’s commitment to helping people in need.”


    After the tragic suicide of former newsreader Charmaine Dragun, Channel 10 has offered to support the programs with promotion and by making Narelda Jacobs and other former colleagues of Ms Dragun available at the forums.


    The West Australian Newspaper will also provide support by actively promoting the forums.


    The Minister encouraged companies and organisations to offer their support to enable more of these education sessions around WA.


    Lifeline chief executive Amanda Wheeler said “‘suicideTALK’ is a two-three hour seminar that sought to overcome the stigma about suicide and highlight prevention opportunities.”


    ”Lifeline WA believes suicide is everybody’s business and that suicide can be prevented. We are committed to creating opportunities for more open talk about mental health and suicide. We want to support people to start and continue conversations and actions that increase wellbeing and safety.”


    For crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14.


    Minister's office - 9213 6900