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Commission CEO appointed the National Suicide Prevention Adviser to the Prime Minister

08 Jul 2019

The National Mental Health Commission (Commission) welcomes the appointment of its CEO, Christine Morgan, to the new role of National Suicide Prevention Adviser to report directly to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

The Commission Chair, Lucy Brogden AM, said this appointment recognises the tragic impact suicide is having across Australian communities, and the focus required to ensure that current and future initiatives, and expertise in suicide prevention, is drawn upon to reduce and prevent the devastating number of suicide deaths in Australia.

“The Commission welcomes the Prime Minister’s recognition of Ms Morgan’s exemplary skills in bringing communities and experts together to tackle difficult social and health problems facing our nation,” Mrs Brogden AM said.

“Australia has a number of internationally recognised experts in suicide prevention for Ms Morgan to work with in this new role, including recently appointed Commissioner, Alan Woodward, founding director of the Lifeline Research Foundation. 

“There are times when love is not enough to keep our loved ones safe from suicide and self-harm. At those times we need strong connected services available to all Australians,” said Mrs Brogden AM.

The new role of National Suicide Prevention Adviser to the Prime Minister has four key tasks.

  • Report on the effectiveness of the design, coordination and delivery of suicide prevention activities in Australia, with a focus on people in crisis or increased risk, including young people and our first nations people;
  • Develop options for a whole-of-government coordination and delivery of suicide prevention activities to address complex issues contributing to Australia’s suicide rate, with a focus on community-led and person-centred solutions;
  • Work across government and departments to embed suicide prevention policy and culture across all relevant policy areas to ensure pathways to support are cleared, and people who are at an increased risk of suicide are able to access support; and
  • Draw upon all current relevant work government and the sector is undertaking to address suicide, including the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan and Implementation Strategy, and the findings of the Productivity Commission and Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System inquiries.

“The scope of this new role demonstrates the level of commitment the Government has to addressing the root causes of suicide across our communities, with a focus on at risk communities. It also recognises that many of the responses will need to target building better connected and capable communities, by supporting the programs and initiatives that are working on the ground,” Mrs Brogden added.

“Success for this role and the Government’s commitment to mental health and suicide prevention will be to have a clear and significant pathway towards zero suicides in Australia.”

The Commission looks forward to supporting the Prime Minister in this commitment, as it continues to play an integral role in assisting the Federal Government by monitoring and reporting on its investments in mental health and suicide prevention, and by being a catalyst for change to achieve improvements.

NOTE: We request that all reporting on mental health and suicide adhere to the Mindframe Media Guidelines. We encourage you to include at least two help lines with your reporting.

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