The Mental Health Commission of NSW
has today announced Australia’s largest integrated suicide prevention program, expected to reduce suicides deaths by 20% and suicide attempts by 30%.
The program, which is called LifeSpan, offers a pioneering approach that involves the simultaneous implementation of nine strategies proven to reduce suicide.
COTA NSW is proud to have contributed to this pioneering program as a member of the Mental Health Commission of NSW Suicide Prevention Advisory Group, which was established by the Mental Health Commission of NSW to strengthen the planning, monitoring and co-ordination of state-wide suicide prevention efforts.
“There is abundant evidence about what works to prevent suicide, but it is often patchily implemented,” said NSW Mental Health Commissioner Mr John Feneley.
“By combining these nine proven strategies within an overarching systems approach, we believe we may have a chance to amplify their effect and make a dramatic difference to the number of lives lost.”
The LifeSpan program was developed in partnership with researchers, clinicians, community organisations, Indigenous health groups and people with lived experience of suicide and mental illness.
“Importantly, we have incorporated the knowledge of people who have experience of suicidal thoughts in themselves or a loved one” said Prof Helen Christensen, Director of the Black Dog Institute and the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention (CRESP), who helped develop the program.
The LifeSpan program will be rolled out initially in four locations across NSW on a trial basis, with prospects to expand across the nation and the potential to save many Australian lives.
Find out more: Suicide prevention trial to focus on regional NSW