Commonwealth response to 'The hidden toll: suicide in Australia'

4. Roles and workforce development

Page last updated: 2010

Suicide prevention is everybody's business. Individuals, communities, businesses and governments all have roles and responsibilities in helping to keep vulnerable people safe from suicide and self harm.

At an Australian Government level, the Department of Health and Ageing has primary responsibility for suicide prevention through the implementation of the NSPS and administration of the NSPP , in addition to the provision of mental health services through primary care and significant NGO support for the provision of alcohol and other drug services. There are also population-wide and targeted programs administered by various Commonwealth agencies, particularly where their client groups are at higher risk of suicide.

The Senate Committee noted concerns about the appropriate role and effectiveness of services, such as emergency departments, law enforcement and general health services in assisting people at risk of suicide, as well as the efficacy of suicide prevention training and support for frontline health and community workers providing services to people at risk. In this Response the Australian Government highlights efforts to ensure suicide prevention activities across portfolios and jurisdictions are complementary and coordinated and emphasises the significant new investment in frontline training provided under the recently announced $274 million Mental health: Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package.