Leading mental health body, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), has welcomed today’s announcement of $19 million towards suicide prevention but warned against leaving psychiatrists out of the conversation.
With suicide still being a major cause of death in Australia, the painful truth is, that despite our efforts, current suicide prevention strategies are on the whole not achieving the change we want.
‘Suicide prevention requires a comprehensive approach that spans systems, organisations and environments, combining treatment, support and intervention and yet we find ourselves being left out of important conversations when it comes to tackling suicide prevention,’ explained RANZCP President, Associate Professor John Allan.
‘This a confronting and challenging issue for all involved and a growing public health concern that psychiatrists can be, and should be, at the forefront of.
‘This is a complex issue and a psychiatrists’ clinical knowledge and experience can greatly contribute towards planning, advising and implementing approaches to suicide prevention.
In 2019, the RANZCP launched the RANZCP Suicide Advisory Group, bringing together the full expertise and experience of leading psychiatrists in the field of suicide prevention, with a broad-ranging and deep understanding of the many factors underlying suicidality.
‘The Suicide Advisory Group includes leading experts in the area of suicide and suicide prevention, perfectly placed to provide support and advice, however, we are finding, more often than not, our offers of support, expertise and advice are going unanswered,’ said Associate Professor Allan.
‘We wish to work with the government and mental health community to maximise our efforts to ensure the design and implementation of policy, programs, training and services targeting suicidal ideation and behaviour will work and have a positive impact.
‘This is an issue in which the government needs to fully engage with the entire mental health community to develop a better understanding of suicide and its risks, and the ways we can all work together to reduce these deaths.
The RANZCP looks forward to engaging with the government on the issue of suicide prevention and working alongside them with the Towards Zero Suicides Initiative.
For all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.
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