Ballarat will be one of six sites in Victoria to take part in a trial program aimed to halve the rate of suicide over 10 years.
The state government’s suicide prevention program will work with communities in local government areas to trial intensive, community-based support including outreach to people who have attempted suicide.
Trial locations, which include Whittlesea, Latrobe Valley and Mildura, were chosen based on the prevalence of suicide in Victoria, population and community demographics, as well as local capacity.
In 2014, 646 Victorians committed suicide.
Western Victoria Primary Health Network chief Jason Trethowan said the trial would put Ballarat at the centre of developing a community response to suicide.
“Suicide is not exclusive to people who are mentally unwell so this is why it is a community plan and action as opposed to only a health system plan and action.
“Ballarat has been chosen for a reason which suggests that the prevalence of suicide has increased and is also at unacceptable levels.”
Ballarat has been chosen for a reason which suggests that the prevalence of suicide has increased and is also at unacceptable levels.- Western Victoria Primary Health Network chief Jason Trethowan
“There can be a sense of helplessness and anger and I see this as an opportunity to bring all the community efforts possible, in a coordinated way to reduce the suicide rates in Ballarat and reduce it to the lowest number possible.”
Buninyong MP Geoff Howard said the program would raise community awareness of local services and help services work together.
“This trial will help us determine how we can better reach-out to people and communities that are most at risk of suicide, including an early response to those most vulnerable to the impacts of stress, discrimination or emotional vulnerability.”
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or visit: lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or visit: beyondblue.org.au
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