The Morrison Government is increasing suicide prevention grants to organisations across the country to help reduce Australia’s suicide rate towards zero.
Organisations in Barker can now apply for funding through the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program Grant Opportunity, with $114 million available for national projects that will raise awareness of the impact of suicide and support Australians who are at risk.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said supporting the mental health and wellbeing of Australians is a national priority and something the Morrison Government is deeply committed to.
“The last two years have been a particularly difficult time for many people in Barker, with the COVID-19 pandemic taking a toll on the mental health and wellbeing of Australians,” Mr Pasin said.
“The lockdowns and other restrictions that have been put in place to protect us from serious injury or even death have given rise to widespread mental health impacts, a phenomenon that has become known as the ‘shadow pandemic’,” Mr Pasin said.
“There are many organisations in Barker who have stepped up and have been working tirelessly to support those in our community who are struggling.”
“I encourage these organisations to apply for this grant opportunity so they can continue to deliver and upscale the important work they do each and every day.”
Funding will be shared across various activity streams, including:
Suicide is a national tragedy, with 3,139 Australians taking their lives in 2020.
“One life lost to suicide is one too many,” Mr Pasin said.
“Every suicide death has a devastating impact on families, friends and communities and that’s why we are deeply committed to driving the suicide rate towards zero.” Mr Pasin said.
The National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program was launched in 2017 and to date, more than $100 million has been awarded to eligible organisations.
Mr Pasin said more than half of the available funding, $64.5 million, is reserved for programs that reach our most at risk populations.
“We’re particularly interested to see applications that focus on populations and communities that are disproportionately impacted by suicide, such as men and boys and people in regional, rural and remote Australia,” Mr Pasin said.
“We know that men are three times more likely than women to take their life, but less likely to access mental health support. We also know that people in rural, regional and remote Australia have a much higher rate of suicide than people in metropolitan Australia.” Mr Pasin said.
“The support that will be provided through the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program will be vitally important in helping to reduce the number of people we lose to suicide each year.” Mr Pasin said.
Through the 2021-22 Budget, the Government is investing a record $2.3 billion in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to deliver landmark reform in mental health support and treatment for Australians in need.
The Plan recognises Australians need a system that acts early to help people before mental health conditions and suicidal distress worsen, and that whole-of-government and whole-of-community changes are needed to deliver preventive, compassionate, and effective care.
The additional investments will take the annual federal health expenditure on mental health and suicide prevention to a historic record of $6.5 billion this year alone.
The National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program is now open. Applications will close on 28 January 2022.
For more information and to view the Grant Opportunity Guidelines visit: www.grants.gov.au.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au). Young Australians needing support can access free services through Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), their local headspace or online through eheadspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/).