The Liberal Party has committed $2.5 million over four years to support the vital work of the State’s Suicide Prevention networks and associated voluntary groups working in postvention, if elected to Government on 17 March.
Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade announced the direct funding to the networks which provide a vital, ongoing role in local communities across SA.
“Suicide is a major cause of death in South Australia and about half of those involved do not have a mental health diagnosis. Accordingly, the suicide prevention team in SA Health will be transferred to Wellbeing SA, the new health promotion and prevention agency,” said Mr Wade.
“This agency will also play an integral role in developing enhanced levels of support, innovation and research in the suicide prevention sector.”
“Liberal Spokesperson for Suicide Prevention John Dawkins has worked closely with many networks in country SA and the metropolitan area, as well as postvention groups such as MOSH, Silent Ripples, Living Beyond Suicide and StandBy – Support after Suicide. He has led the way on suicide prevention for over a decade, dragging a reluctant State Government to the table.”
Mr Dawkins said that the Labor Government’s handling of Suicide Prevention programs and support over its 16 years in office has been appalling.
“Successive Mental Health Ministers Gago, Hill, Snelling and Vlahos were sadly lacking in personal leadership and advocacy in suicide prevention over many years, while Minister Malinauskas has failed to answer my questions about the details of the latest, delayed State Suicide Prevention Plan,” said Mr Dawkins.
“The current Government only came forward with funding for Lifeline following a Liberal commitment in 2013.
“A Marshall Liberal Government will maintain the current support for Lifeline – which has been operating in SA for 55 years.
“This Government has dragged its heels on addressing the scourge on South Australia that is suicide. More people take their own lives each year than die on our roads and our suicide rate is above the national average. It’s the silent killer stalking our streets.”