Key messages

  • The Victorian suicide prevention framework 2016-2025 commits to halving the suicide rate over the next ten years.
  • Under the framework, the Victorian Government will trial two types of  suicide prevention initiatives.
  • The suicide prevention initiatives will involve health services and local communities to effectively reduce the suicide rate.

There is no single cause of suicide, and no simple solution to prevent it. Suicide can affect anyone, but it disproportionately affects some individuals and groups.

Although suicide rates are lower among young people than other age groups, suicides account for a larger proportion of deaths for this group.

The suicide rate in the Aboriginal population is twice that of the general population rate, with young Aboriginal persons being at highest risk.

For every suicide there are many more people - family, friends, carers, colleagues and communities - who are deeply affected.

Every single death tells a unique story, but each has the same underlying message for our community. We need to do more to prevent suicide.

There is a strong and concerted effort underway to reduce suicide in Victoria. The Victorian Government's strategic approach to suicide prevention involves five key objectives.

Halving Victoria's suicide rate by 2025

Objective 1: Build resilience

Improving individual and community strengths and capacity to prevent suicide. Leveraging off a new focus on building resilience across the Victorian Government, including in schools and health and emergency services.

Objective 2: Support vulnerable people

Uniting behind groups who are at a higher risk of psychological distress and suicide. This includes early responses to concerns among dairy farmers, regional communities, Aboriginal communities, emergency service workers, paramedics, police, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

Objective 3: Care for the suicidal person

Strengthened approaches to assertive outreach and personal care when a person who has attempted suicide leaves hospital or an emergency department.

Objective 4: Learn what works best

A commitment to test and evaluate suicide prevention initiatives, and share data with local communities.

Objective 5: Help local communities to prevent suicide

Trialling a coordinated approach to suicide prevention that will be implemented at a local community level.

Suicide prevention initiatives

Place-based initiative - helping local communities to prevent suicide

The Victorian government will support local communities to develop and implement coordinated place-based approaches to suicide prevention. These trials will see all relevant organisations and services working together to deliver effective suicide prevention at a local level, This includes:

  • implementing a range of evidence-based, coordinated strategies at the same time
  • multi-sectoral involvement by all government, non-government, health, business, education, research and community agencies
  • governance within a local area
  • demonstrating sustainability and long-term commitment

Place-based trial locations are Ballarat, Brimbank / Melton, Latrobe Valley, Mildura, Mornington Peninsula / Frankston and Whittlesea.

The Victorian Government is partnering with Primary Health Networks to deliver the place-based trials. Primary Health Networks will expand on this investment establishing six additional sites in Macedon Ranges, Benalla, Maroondah, Great South Coast, Bass Coast and Dandenong.

Assertive outreach initiative- improving care following a suicide attempt

In collaboration with health services, the Victorian Government will trial assertive outreach support for people leaving hospital following a suicide attempt.

This will involve tailored, person-centred support that is responsive to the unique needs and circumstances of the individual.

Those eligible for the service will be contacted within 24 hours of hospital discharge, and support will continue for up to three months.

Assertive outreach workers will also work with, and provide support to, the families, friends and carers of people who have attempted suicide.

The suicide prevention initiatives will be implemented from early 2017. Evaluation of the initiatives will identify the most effective ways to prevent suicide across the state, and inform future investment.