26 Feb 2021
The National Mental Health Commission has welcomed the announcement the 31st World Congress on Suicide Prevention will be held in Australia.
Hosted by the International Association of Suicide Prevention, the 2021 World Congress will be held on the Gold Coast from September 21 – 24.
“At a time when mental health and suicide prevention has received unprecedented attention and investment in Australia, this announcement is very welcome news. It tells us that we are on the right path, and shows the international community has recognised our commitment to reform,” Commission CEO Christine Morgan said.
As CEO of the Commission and the Prime Minister’s advisor on suicide prevention, Ms Morgan said she hoped the nation would use this opportunity to take a global lead on creating best practice in suicide prevention research, policy and services.
“Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians under 45. It continues to cause the death of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders at four times the rate of the rest of the population, and results in preventable deaths amongst other high risk groups, like veterans and the LGBTQI community.
“We remain concerned about the levels of distress, suicide ideation and suicide death amongst men, and urge people to focus on the root causes for men, and other at risk groups. Many individuals have been impacted by the complex economic and social impacts of the pandemic which have exacerbated their risk and distress, these intersections must also be in our responses.”
World Congress will provide a global platform to examine and respond to the flow on impacts of COVID-19 on suicidal ideation.
“It’s part of why national systemic reform is needed. This pandemic showed us we need to work with all aspects of our community, at all life cycle touch points, including education, workplaces, health providers, sport, and more, to build a system with a universal approach to mental health and wellbeing and suicide prevention. This will help safe guard us against future shocks like COVID-19, amongst other great benefits.
“This Congress announcement comes at a vital time for our nation, and we must use this important global gathering to hear from the international community about what is working for them, while we share what we are doing right here at home, to prevent suicide.
“Australia has a lot to offer, and this is our opportunity to show our leadership on suicide prevention to the world.”