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Suicide prevention funding promised for north coast

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Page MP Kevin Hogan (Nationals) has welcomed a Coalition offer for more suicide prevention funding for the region if it is returned on Saturday. Photo Tree Faerie
Page MP Kevin Hogan (Nationals) has welcomed a Coalition offer for more suicide prevention funding for the region if it is returned on Saturday. Photo Tree Faerie

The North Coast Primary Health Network (PHN) has been selected as one of four lead sites across Australia to implement a new suicide prevention program if the Coalition is returned on Saturday.

Federal Page Kevin Hogan (Nationals) has welcomed the election pledge of $192 million in extra funding to help to prevent suicides across the North Coast.

‘This is exactly what I have been advocating for to reduce suicide in our community,’ Mr Hogan said.

‘Any suicide is tragic and unfortunately we have far too many in our community.

Under the program, the North Coast PHN will receive additional resources to develop localised suicide-prevention strategies, including a focus on community education and ensuring better post-discharge follow up for people who have made suicide attempts.

‘One of the best ways we can prevent suicide is to ensure that someone who has attempted suicide or self-harm receives follow up support and treatment when they are discharged from hospital. At the moment, that doesn’t always happen,’ Mr Hogan said.

‘This new money will allow the North Coast Primary Health Network to work closely with our local hospitals and community based mental health services to ensure that when someone is discharged from hospital, they don’t fall through the cracks and they aren’t forgotten about.

The North Coast Primary Health Network will work closely with suicide prevention organisations such as Black Dog and Beyond Blue to implement a range of localised strategies to reduce suicide rates across the electorate.

‘All of the experts tell us that reducing suicide rates require local solutions,’ Mr Hogan said.

‘That could include measures such as reducing the means to self-harm and working with local schools and community organisations to improve the understanding of suicide and self-harm.

‘These new measures are in addition to a series of important steps, already undertaken in our first term, including the commissioning of regionally-delivered mental health services through the North Coast PHN in partnership with the NSW Government and local service providers.’

Mr Hogan said that the promised $192 million National Suicide Prevention Strategy will ‘address the current fragmented approach to suicide prevention. It will also include funding for national suicide prevention leadership and support activities, including anti-stigma and awareness campaigns and crisis support services.’

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