A new suicide prevention coordinator will soon begin working in regional Western Australia’s Kimberley region, as part of the State Government’s $3.5 million investment to help reduce the suicide rate.
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC has welcomed today’s announcement.
Mr Grills said the new local coordinator’s role was to strengthen community resilience, and improve agency coordination in responding to suicide and related mental health issues.
“This new Kimberley-based position builds on other coordinators who, this year, have been placed throughout the Goldfields, South-West and Wheatbelt,” Mr Grills said.
“The suicide prevention coordinators’ initiative is a vital element of the State Government’s $25.9 million ‘Suicide Prevention 2020 Strategy’, which aims to halve the rate of suicides over 10 years.
“The people assigned to these new roles are employed to build the capacity of communities to provide support after a suicide or suicide attempt, as well as to intervene early before a mental health emergency occurs.”
Mr Grills said it was disappointing that after much more focus on mental health of late, that social stigma still remained a barrier preventing people from seeking help in many rural and remote communities.
“The local coordinator will help people access assistance during a crisis and before a crisis occurs. This person will also promote suicide prevention training and self-help activities for at-risk groups, as well as training for professionals and on-scene responders.”
Mr Grills said he was very pleased the Kimberley region had been identified to benefit.
“This region is in need of as much support as possible, in terms of suicide prevention and related strategies and programs. It saddens me to visit the region and see people suffering from these types of traumas.
“I will continue to strongly support programs that benefit at-risk groups and people prone to mental health issues, right across the Mining and Pastoral Region.”
Mr Grills said a second new coordinator would be located in WA’s Mid-West region. The WA Country Health Service has been funded for three years to provide the two new positions.
On average, in WA one person loses their life to suicide each day.
Mr Grills urged residents to prioritise their health and seek help for themselves or a loved one by calling Beyond Blue PH: 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline: 13 11 14.