The NSW Government is investing $6 million over three years as part of the 2020-21 NSW Budget to establish 12 Community Wellbeing Collaboratives in communities at high risk of suicide.
The collaboratives organise the response from all services in the local area in times of need bringing together doctors, nurses, police, ambulance, media, teachers, parents, carers, Aboriginal organisations and local councils.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the funds would be directed to organisations including headspace and Lifeline, which will lead the coordination.
“The NSW Government is investing in our people and our future, and we know this starts with providing quality services for everyone in NSW,” Mr Perrottet said.
“The unique innovative collaborative model will use data identified from schools and local services to develop this grassroots approach to suicide prevention.”
The Community Wellbeing Collaboratives will engage young people and adults, including people with a lived experience of mental illness and suicide.
In the event of a suicide cluster, the collaboratives will coordinate a rapid response from the ground up.
Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor said the collaboratives would work with the community even when there wasn’t a crisis, to continually engage with local people and provide information to parents, teachers, carers and young people about mental health.
“We know the majority of mental health care is delivered in the community, which is why we’re embedding both proactive and reactive layers of support outside the hospital setting, in the places where people live their lives every day,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Evidence tells us that the best response to suicide comes from a local grass roots level. They know what works best for their communities and ultimately this program will allow us to better support young people and their families during the pandemic and beyond.”
This $6 million investment for the Community Wellbeing Collaboratives brings total funding committed to Towards Zero Suicides initiatives to $90 million.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services:
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
- NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511