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Suicide prevention trial site makes progress

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price confirmed that the Mid West region Suicide Prevention Trial, one of 12 national trial sites to combat suicide, is making good progress in identifying effective approaches to suicide prevention. 

In 2017, the Mid West region received a share of the Federal Government’s $192 million election commitment to strengthen mental health care in regional Australia to run the three-year trial.

“The Mid West region has a much higher rate of suicide than the national average, and that is due to the large proportion of high risk populations we have in the region” Ms Price said. 

“We know that Aboriginal people are susceptible to depression which is closely linked to suicide, but so are farmers, fly in/fly out workers and fishers working in remote communities. 

“The Mid West suicide prevention trial site is focused on helping reduce suicide rates among these at-risk populations, and to sharing this knowledge across Australia. 

“We have tasked the PHNs, the overarching federal health framework nationally, to come up with a suite of strategies to combat suicide. 
‘These strategies need to be inclusive, need to be bold, and most importantly, they need to work” Ms Price said. 

The communities of Geraldton, Mullewa, Morawa, Mt Magnet, Meekatharra and Carnarvon are being targeted during the Mid West trial, and each will have the opportunity to develop a suicide prevention action plan. The PHN’s suicide prevention trial coordinator employed has already visited many of these sites, in preparation for this next stage.

The trial will facilitate learning about how best to prevent suicide at a local level and how best support can be provided to at-risk individuals. 

The four-level approach includes: 
1. Focusing on general practitioner (GP) training to identify and improve the treatment of depression; 
2. Educating the public via a depression awareness campaign
3. Cooperating with stakeholders and community facilitators to provide training to improve the recognition of symptoms of depression and referrals to GPs 
4. Low threshold support for individuals, high risk groups and their families. 

People needing access to psychological services and support can seek a referral from a GP to the Midwest Mental Health Portal. More information is available at www.wapha.org.au/mental-health-portal

END 

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