$4 million boost for suicide prevention research

Date published:

March 24, 2022

Type of support:

Press release


General public

The Morrison Government is extending the National Suicide Prevention Research Fund with an additional $4 million over two years, as part of our commitment to increasing cutting-edge Australian research into suicide prevention and treatment.

In 2020, a total of 3,139 Australians died by suicide. Despite representing a 5.4% reduction in the number of suicides from 2019 and the lowest national suicide rate since 2016, suicide remains the leading cause of death among 15-44 year olds. Additionally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to die by suicide at a rate more than twice that of non-Aboriginals.

Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said suicide has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities.

“Our government is fully committed to working towards the goal of zero suicide. Zero is the only acceptable target because it recognizes the immense value of every life,” said Minister Hunt.

“Suicide prevention research is a vital part of this effort – enabling us to find new and better approaches to reducing the number of Australians lost to suicide each year.”

The Suicide Prevention Research Fund was established by the Coalition Government in 2016 and is managed on behalf of the government by Suicide Prevention Australia. Since its creation, it has accompanied more than 50 projects, of which more than 30 have now completed their work.

The additional $4 million brings the Morrison government’s total investment in the Suicide Prevention Research Fund to $20.5 million (from 2016-17 to 2023-24). It builds on substantial suicide prevention research funding provided through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The Prime Minister’s Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said ongoing research is helping to ensure the most effective, evidence-based suicide prevention programs and services are delivered. , such as those funded through the historic $2.3 billion Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan announced in Budget 2021-22.

“Suicide prevention is one of the essential pillars of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. The plan includes more than $298 million in suicide prevention programs and initiatives,” said Assistant Minister Coleman.

“Importantly, this includes universal follow-up for those discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt. This is something that I am personally passionate about and I am committed to seeing it rolled out to every state and territory as soon as possible.

The plan also included $61.6 million to expand the National Suicide Prevention and Leadership Support Program which supports services that help reduce suicide deaths and suicidal behaviors, particularly in populations and communities. at risk.

In addition, $12.8 million has been provided for the creation of a National Office for Suicide Prevention which will work with all governments and government agencies to address the broader social factors that often contribute to suicide. . This continues the important work of the Morrison government to reform the approach to suicide prevention demonstrated by initiatives such as the appointment of the first National Suicide Prevention Advisor, the creation of the National Suicide and Self-Harm Monitoring System and providing postvention supports for families. and caregivers bereaved by suicide.

“Although we have made considerable progress in recent years, we know that there is still a lot to do. The Morrison government is committed to continuing to deliver world-class suicide prevention initiatives to protect and save lives,” said Assistant Minister Coleman.

More information about the Fund, research grants and fellowship opportunities is available online – www.suicidepreventionaust.org

Anyone in distress can also seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or the government’s digital mental health portal, Head to Health.

If you are concerned about suicide, live with someone who is contemplating suicide or are grieving suicide, the suicide callback service is available on 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Young Australians in need of help can access free services through Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), their local headspace or online through eheadspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/).

Australians needing help throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellness Helpline anytime by phone on 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org. to