CEO of Rural and Remote Mental Health, Joe Hooper, comments on the exciting announcement.
“On the 9th December, the South Australian Parliament passed the first Suicide Prevention Act in Australia with the intention to reduce the incidence of deaths by suicide in the State. Key elements of the Act include establishing a Suicide Prevention Council, preparation and implementation of suicide prevention plans and encouraging the training of persons and organisations in suicide prevention and postvention. There will also be a suicide register and data sharing process.
The Suicide Prevention Council will be a statutory authority body consisting of 13 members including representation from the lived experience, LGBTIQ and Indigenous communities. The Council will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the South Australian Suicide Prevention Plan 2022-2025 and other aspects of the legislation.
RRMH has been a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Steering Committee which has been working on developing a South Australian Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Plan and Framework, an important platform piece which will be part of the broader State Suicide Prevention Plan 2022-2025. The plan, once signed off, will support the Suicide Prevention Act, and guide South Australia’s response to Indigenous suicide and be a blueprint for shaping mental health services over the next 10 years.
Another important outcome of the Steering Committee is the commitment to develop a dedicated Aboriginal Mental Health & Wellbeing Centre, a specialised mental health and wellbeing approach that will provide best practice culturally capable mental health care to Aboriginal people across South Australia. Whilst there is work to be done, this is another significant outcome towards delivering services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of South Australia.
RRMH congratulates the previous Liberal SA government on the above achievements, and we look forward to seeing how the new SA Labor government will support the necessary work ahead to meet the objectives of the legislation”.