The Federal Government is investing $2.53 million in two research projects to improve support for Australians experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis.

The University of Western Australia (UWA) will receive $1.28 million for their project, Expand WA, which will seek to improve aftercare services among young people aged 10 to 17 who present to hospital with self-harm or suicidal crisis. It will also determine the effectiveness of a brief collaborative psychological intervention called a Therapeutic Assessment, including a version tailored for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Member for Forrest Nola Marino MP said
“The Government is investing $289.1 million in the 2021-22 Budget into suicide prevention, and it is great to see ground-breaking research being funded and conducted here in WA.”

The Australian National University will receive $1.35 million for their project, Co-creating safe space, which will examine the effectiveness of ‘safe space’ models in the ACT and NSW as alternatives to presenting to a hospital Emergency Department.

The Suicide Prevention Research Fund supports research into suicide prevention and is managed by Suicide Prevention Australia, the national peak body for the suicide prevention sector.

As part of the Government’s record $2.3 billion investment in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, $158.6 million was committed for the provision of universal aftercare, to be delivered in partnership with states and territories. Suicide is currently the leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 49.

Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through headspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), Lifeline (13 11 14), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au). If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or on their website.