Commission partners with International Association of Suicide Prevention for World Congress 2021

The National Mental Health Commission is pleased to announce it will partner with the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP), as it hosts the 31st World Congress on the Gold Coast from 21-24 September 2021.

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In-person and virtual lived experience participation will be a hallmark of the Congress, with the Commission providing 150 bursaries to people who have experienced suicidal ideation, suicide attempt or who have lost a loved one to suicide.

“Lived experience and living experience is central to best practice in suicide prevention, and is a key recommendation in the National Suicide Prevention Final Advice. Broadening the national suicide prevention approach must be informed by what people experiencing suicidal distress really need,” Commission CEO and the Prime Minister’s Suicide Prevention Adviser Christine Morgan said.

“We want to encourage all people with lived experience of suicidal ideation, attempt or the tragic loss of a loved one to suicide to apply. We need your input and invaluable experience. Your voices are crucial to driving a genuine shift in our national response to mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention reform.”

The Congress will bring together up to 1,000 suicide prevention and mental health professionals and peer workers, researchers, crisis workers, experts and professionals across service delivery and system response, and crucially suicide survivors from around the world.

It will provide opportunities to share findings, experiences, policies and programs furthering collaboration on suicide research and prevention.

“IASP’s partnership with the National Mental Health Commission demonstrates its unequivocal commitment to further suicide prevention efforts in Australia and to set a global precedent for lived experience engagement,” President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, Professor Rory O’Connor said.

“Most importantly the provision of these bursaries to those with lived experience of suicide ensures we place this knowledge and expertise front and centre within this World Congress; shaping discussions and encouraging collaborative partnerships that embed lived experience alongside scientific and clinical research; fundamental as we work to advance our understanding and prevention of suicide.”

The Congress will provide a global platform to examine and respond to the flow on impacts of COVID-19 on suicidal ideation.

“The Congress announcement comes at a vital time for our nation and globally. It will provide us with a timely opportunity to outline Australia’s national commitment, as well as hear from the international community about what is working for them in this extraordinary time of COVID-19,” Commission Chair Lucy Brogden AM said.

The bursaries will allow the diverse group of experts through experience to work directly with researchers, mental health professionals and service providers, and provide feedback on what can be done more effectively to prevent suicide.”

Bursary applications close on Tuesday 15 June 2021. There are 150 bursaries available.

To apply for a bursary, please visit:

National FREE 24/7 Crisis Services

Lifeline | 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service | 1300 659 467 
Kids Helpline | 1800 55 1800 
MensLine Australia | 1300 78 99 78

For general mental health information

National Mental Health Commission media contact

  • Governance
  • Suicide prevention

Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past and present, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.