In 2015, 394 people died by suicide in Western Australia. Each death is an enduring tragedy for the loved ones left behind.
Alison has been personally affected by the death by suicide of a family member. Her own experience has helped inform and drive the extensive work she has undertaken in the area of suicide prevention. She has held many senior positions on mental health committees and agencies and served as a member of the Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention.
While Alison acknowledges that in recent times there has been significant investment in suicide prevention, she believes there is still much to be done. Alison is particularly concerned about the shameful rates of suicide for Aboriginal people, young people, members of the LGBTIQ+ community and older people.
Children who have been bereaved by suicide are also at higher risk than the general community. They are three times more likely to take their life later in life and are at high risk of having mental health issues. Alison has been instrumental in campaigning for the establishment of a pilot program for children who have been bereaved by suicide.
Alison is deeply committed to ensuring that suicide prevention remains high on the government’s agenda. She will continue to advocate for funding for evidence-based suicide prevention programs including community-level programs and targeted programs for at-risk groups. She will also promote the need to fund rigorous research into suicide risk and protective factors to inform service delivery.