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Monitoring mental health and suicide prevention reform: National Report 2020

Appendix D: Suicide prevention activities

Australian Government


Announcement Extract Date Website
In November 2020, the National Suicide Prevention Adviser's interim advice and in-principle recommendations were released. The interim report and recommendations will be used to consult with the Australian and state and territory governments. The Commission will continue to monitor the Australian Government's response to additional recommendations made in the final report, due to be submitted by the end of 2020. 16 November 2020 View here and here
The Australian Government announced a further $19 million to extend leading national suicide prevention services. 10 September 2020 View here
In July 2020, the Australian Government announced that, for the first time, the national Closing the Gap agreement includes a target aimed at reducing Indigenous suicide rates. July 2020 View here and here
The National Suicide Prevention Adviser presented initial findings to the Prime Minister in November 2019 (see Box 8). In response, the Australian Government announced a $64 million investment in suicide prevention and mental health initiatives in January 2020. These initiatives will focus on supporting some of the most vulnerable groups, including:
  • • Australians who have been discharged from hospital after a suicide attempt
  • • families and carers who have lost a loved one to suicide
  • • young Australians, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and in regional and rural areas
  • • Australians in crisis, and in need of immediate assistance.
30 January 2020 View here
The Australian Government announced $10.3 million distributed through the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission, for three suicide prevention projects. May 2020 View here
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the results of a pilot study into the psychosocial risk factors associated with suicide deaths in 2017. July 2019 View here
A number of trials under the National Suicide Prevention Trial are funded until 30 June 2021 at 12 sites across Australia, led by Primary Health Networks and supported by the Australian Government. The trials involve integrated, whole-of-system, local-area approaches to suicide prevention, each with different community needs, tailored models, time frames and funding. The trials were established in an attempt to address criticisms around the lack of coordinated, multilevel or multifactorial approaches in Australia that involve both health and non-health sectors, and government and nongovernment agencies. The evaluation was completed in December 2020. Trials commenced 2016–17, cease 30 June 2021 View here

Australian Capital Territory


Announcement Extract Date Website
The Australian Capital Territory Government announced $342,000 to create two Canberra Safe Haven cafes. These cafes will provide a safe alternative to the emergency department and other treatment services for adults over 18 years of age experiencing loneliness or personal difficulties, or simply seeking social connection. 6 May 2020 View here

New South Wales


Announcement Extract Date Website
The New South Wales Government committed $87 million over three years to suicide prevention activities such as aftercare, alternatives to emergency departments for people experiencing mental health and suicidal crisis, improved collection and distribution of suicide data, and resilience building in communities. September 2020 View here
The New South Wales Government announced $2.8 million in funding to train more than 10,000 community gatekeepers over the next three years. 10 July 2020 View here
The New South Wales Government announced funding of $6.8 million for specialist counsellors to be deployed across rural New South Wales to help prevent suicide. 24 August 2020 View here
The New South Wales Government announced $7.7 million for community-led Aboriginal suicide prevention. 2 September 2020 View here
The New South Wales Government launched the Suicide Monitoring and Data Management System. 9 November 2020 View here



Announcement Extract Date Website
Reducing Queensland's suicide rate is a Queensland Government priority under Our Future State: Advancing Queensland's Priorities.

Every Life: the Queensland Suicide Prevention Plan 2019–2029 is a whole-of-government plan. $80.1 million has been allocated to the plan.
  View here

South Australia


Announcement Extract Date Website
A new Suicide Prevention Advocate was appointed. 22 September 2020 View here



Announcement Extract Date Website
The first Tasmanian Suicide Register report was released. 9 October 2020 View here



Announcement Extract Date Website
Mental Health Support for Drought Affected Communities—suicide prevention trials—were announced. 26 February 2020 View here
The Coroners Court of Victoria released its Victorian suicides of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people report, which establishes the foundation for ongoing annual reporting on Indigenous suicides by the court, with a view to building a comprehensive public dataset over time. With this information, communities and organisations working to prevent Indigenous suicides will be able to effectively target resources and programs designed to reduce deaths. June 2020 View here
The Victorian Government continued the rollout of its Hospital Outreach Post-Suicide Engagement (HOPE) program, establishing programs in three new locations. 9 August 2020 View here

Western Australia


Announcement Extract Date Website
The Western Australian Government delivered its full response to the State Coroner's inquest into the deaths of 13 children and young people in the Kimberley Region, Western Australia, and the 2016 parliamentary inquiry, Learnings from the Message Stick: the report of the Inquiry into Aboriginal youth suicide in remote areas. The government announced $266.7 million for Aboriginal suicide prevention initiatives. 

Of the combined 86 recommendations included in both reports, in 2019, the Western Australian Government had fully accepted 22, accepted 33 in principle, had already implemented or started implementing 16, and was still considering the feasibility or implications of a further 11.
March 2020 View here and here
The Western Australian Government announced nearly $10 million to develop and implement a region-by-region approach to Aboriginal suicide prevention in Western Australia. The Western Australian Government also announced an additional $4.79 million for programs to provide additional suicide prevention support to all Western Australians as part of the WA Recovery Plan, including:
  • • aftercare support following a suicide attempt through a peer-based approach
  • • providing support and meeting the needs of those affected by a suicide death
  • • increasing capacity of services that provide long-term support to children who have been bereaved by a suicide death
  • • improving community-level data collection for suicide prevention.
July 2020 View here
The Western Australian Government announced a suicide prevention taskforce to examine management of at-risk prisoners. 18 August 2020 View here
The Western Australian Suicide Prevention Framework 2021–2025 was released. The framework sets the direction for future action to reduce deaths by suicide in Western Australia. 21 October 2020 View here
Aboriginal flag Torres Strait Islander flag

Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past present and emerging, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.