World Suicide Prevention Day: Government must provide long-term funding certainty for suicide prevention sector

Greens spokesperson for Suicide Prevention Hon Alison Xamon MLC has called on the Government to ensure it provides funding certainty for the WA suicide prevention services, in light of a worrying lack of provisions allocated to the sector in the 2018-19 State Budget.

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Ms Xamon expressed concerns about the lack of funds put aside for prevention services beyond 2019.

She said while she understood the need to evaluate the current Suicide Prevention Strategy, it was crucial the sector had long-term funding certainty and confidence that services in the sector will be funded even if the exact configuration of those services remain unknown..

“Close to 400 people died by suicide in Western Australia in 2015 – while 20 to 30 times that number attempted to take their lives,” Ms Xamon said.

“The youth suicide rate is the highest it has ever been.

“A staggering 42% of all sudden deaths of young people aged between 13 and 17 were the result of suicide, according to the WA Ombudsman’s 2017 annual report.

Ms Xamon said it was vital that services that are working well can continue without any disruption, to ensure work undertaken so far is not eroded.

She said it was crucial that suicide prevention service were built-upon, not scaled back.

“I hope, too, that the Government’s next Suicide Prevention strategy addresses emerging trends in suicide, including the increasing prevalence of elder suicide,” Ms Xamon said.

“The impact of suicide is profound – we all have a role to play in reducing the devastating numbers.”

Alison hopes to deliver a member’s statement to Parliament tomorrow.