Page 726 - Week 02 - Thursday, 20 February 2020

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ACT implementation of the National Psychosocial Support (NPS) measure to provide psychosocial support services to assist people with severe mental illness resulting in reduced psychosocial functional capacity who are not more appropriately supported through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS);

additional ACT Government funding of $1.273 million for Headspace Canberra;

HealthPathways, a free online health information portal for health professionals in the ACT and Southern NSW (SNSW) regions. The ACT & SNSW HealthPathways program is a partnership between Capital Health Network, COORDINARE (SE NSW Primary Health Network), the ACT Health Directorate and SNSW Local Health District.


5.63 The Committee recommends that the ACT Legislative Assembly consider re-examining this matter when funding and research outcomes are made public in order to determine the most appropriate way to further develop early intervention measures, education approaches and access to service for suicide prevention activities in the ACT.

In 2018-19, the ACT Government engaged the Black Dog Institute to introduce the LifeSpan integrated suicide prevention framework. The LifeSpan project is a whole of system, evidence-based project, which aims to understand suicide and its causes, to better develop prevention activity. LifeSpan combines nine strategies that have strong evidence for suicide prevention into one community-led approach incorporating health, education, frontline services, business and the community. The nine evidence-based strategies are:

1. improving emergency and follow-up care for suicidal crisis;

2. using evidence-based treatment for suicidality;

3. equipping primary care to identify and support people in distress;

4. improving the competency and confidence of frontline workers to deal with suicidal crisis;

5. training the community to recognise and respond to suicidality;

6. promoting help-seeking, mental health, and resilience in schools;

7. engaging the community and providing opportunities to be part of the change;

8. encouraging safe and purposeful media reporting; and

9. improving safety and reducing access to means of suicide.

The ACT LifeSpan research trial and the implementation of its initiatives are due for completion and evaluation in July 2021.

(3) In late 2016 the ACT Government, as a strategic priority, appointed its first dedicated Minister for Mental Health. The ACT Government is committed to enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of our community by focusing on the integration of services, prevention, and early support.

In accordance with the Ninth Parliamentary Agreement, a key priority for the Mental Health Portfolio is achieving a sustained reduction in the rate of suicide in the ACT.

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