Both major parties have now released plans to slow our shocking suicide problem.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged $192 million for a national prevention scheme.
It was estimated there were over 150 suicides in Ballarat last year.
Liberal candidate Sarah Wade said the plan would help vulnerable local people.
"A re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will invest $192 million in mental health reforms to ensure help for individuals and their families. Ballarat is not immune from the tragedy that is suicide. These reforms will invest in front line services and research to help prevent deaths in the future,” she said.
“Our National Suicide Prevention Strategy will draw together the current fragmented approach to suicide prevention and build on what is working well to focus on effective strategies to prevent suicide and reduce suicidal behaviour.”
“Importantly for Ballarat this package includes a $12 million Suicide Prevention Research Fund to support targeted research to develop and evaluate regional suicide prevention models and provide a best practice hub of resources.”
Labor released its own suicide help pledge earlier in the month, promising $73 million over three years for 12 regional suicide prevention pilot projects in areas of particular vulnerability.
Ballarat MP Catherine King said Ballarat would have a “strong case” to be part of the pilot.
“These sites will be selected in consultation with experts in the field and in partnership with the States and Territories –with suicide rates in the Ballarat region so much higher than the national average, we would have a strong case to be a priority location for a pilot site, but those locations would be determined in the first 100 days of a Labor government through that consultation,” she said.
Child sex abuse survivor Peter Blenkiron told The Courier last week it was clear Ballarat was one of those areas.
“We have 150 suicides here a year – surely we would be identified as one of the hot spots,” Mr Blenkiron said.
“It’s been a major issue here for a long time but it’s just starting to raise awareness.”
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