Mental health has long been decried as overlooked by governments. A $1.2 million investment in suicide prevention has been welcomed by mental health advocates and support groups.
SANE Australia’s CEO Jack Heath said the funds will be used for a new suicide prevention campaign to reach out to people struggling with the will to continue.
“The campaign plans to share the stories of real Australians who have survived a suicide attempt in an effort to connect those at risk with appropriate resources and support,” Mr Heath explained.
“The concept has been developed off the back of international evidence that reveals a sense of burdensomeness plays a significant part in the thinking of people who are at risk of suicide.”
According to Mr Heath, suicide claimed the lives of a staggering 2,866 people in 2016 alone. Most of those were young people.
“Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 14 to 44 years and the third leading cause of death for people aged 45 to 55,” he said.
“We are very pleased that the government has recognised the need to invest in new and innovative approaches to prevent suicide.
“We expect these real stories will resonate strongly with vulnerable viewers as they’re coming first hand from someone who has walked their path and understands what they’re feeling.”
Funding for the campaign will be backed up by $33.8 million being given to Lifeline Australia for its telephone crisis services, in addition to money being invested in beyondblue and the Way Back Support Service.
“We want people to know that reaching out and asking for help isn’t easy, but it’s worth it,” said Mr Heath.
Mental health has been cited as a growing concern in Australian workplaces, with both workers and business leaders vulnerable to depression and anxiety.
Billionaire businessman James Packer’s decision to step down to focus on recovering from mental health challenges helped shed light on the pressures facing business leaders, no matter the size or prominence of their enterprise.
Crisis support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone in need on the following numbers:
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Mensline 1300 789 978
- Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.