Government plan to end suicide waits too long

Opinion 02/07/2019

It would appear another Government policy has been leaked, this time surrounding the Government's draft plan in the mental health field for a no-suicide future.

The Government's new plan for a future with "no suicide" includes a national prevention office, a dedicated bereaved counselling service, and new guidelines for social media. 

The draft suicide prevention plan will replace a plan scuttled in the lead up to the 2017 election. By the way this plan hasn’t been officially released, it was obtained by Stuff after it was released to stakeholders for consultation.

The new strategy and action plan does not set a hard target for suicide reduction.

The strategy, named Every Life Matters, instead states: "We believe that every life matters and by working together, we can achieve a future where there is no suicide".

My beef, having perused what has been written so far, is the targets to get this all going. National suicide bereaved counselling service 2022-23, the same for reviewing the process for investigating suicide 2022-23.

Social media guidelines review 2020-21, the same for a stocktake of current supports for inpatients or those discharged for Emergency departments; completion or progress on it all by 2024.

Excuse me, another 5 years! How many more have to die?

Why does it take so long to get things done?

Plus, no suicide reduction target, as it was rejected by the government, despite the 2018 Mental Health and Addiction inquiry recommending a reduction target of 20% by 2030.

So here we go, are you a bereaved family member who has lost someone to suicide? Have you been in a situation in preventing a potential suicide and do you think this draft plan is going in the right direction and will certainly assist?

Are you prepared to accept what would seem on the face of it at the earliest another 3-4 yrs before the key components of this plan are implemented?

Stephen McIvor is Guest Host for Magic Talk Drive weekdays 3-7pm.