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Joint Submission on the Draft Victorian Suicide Prevention and Response Strategy


Suicide Prevention Australia, Mental Health Victoria, and On the Line Australia have prepared a joint submission to respond to the Victorian Suicide Prevention and Response Strategy.

In 2021, the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System published its final report with 74 recommendations, including nine from the interim report. The recommendations provide a blueprint for mental health and wellbeing reform. Several recommendations were on Victoria’s approach to suicide prevention, with the Royal Commission stating that “suicide prevention and response require a comprehensive response from the whole community and across government.”

The Royal Commission recommended that Victoria develops a new suicide prevention and response strategy. To develop the new strategy, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division in the Department of Health released a discussion paper and conducted a public consultation. They consulted with people with lived experience and their families, carers and supporters, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, service providers, workplaces, and community-based groups.

As part of this consultation process, Suicide Prevention Australia, Mental Health Victoria and On the Line Australia developed a joint submission to help shape the new suicide prevention and response strategy.

Our key recommendations are below:

1. Towards zero suicides is an appropriate vision for the Strategy

2. The priority population ‘people with lived experience of suicide’ should more clearly distinguish between the different types of lived experience including persons experiencing suicidal thoughts, survivors of suicide attempts, people experiencing bereavement and carers of people experiencing suicidality

3. The priority population of those impacted by trauma should be separated from the children and young people priority group

4. Priorities around circumstantial risk factors should be considered including:

a) People experiencing homelessness or housing instability

b) People experiencing job loss, unemployment, job insecurity and/or financial hardship

c) People experiencing loss of relationship/family breakdown

d) People experiencing, at risk of, or exposed to abuse and violence

e) People who are or have been in contact with the criminal justice system

f) People who have come in contact with the child protection system

5. Additional priority areas should be addressed in the strategy, including:

a) Responding earlier to distress

b) Quality including quality standards

c) Community safety and means restriction

d) Resources to meet existing demand

6. An additional principle highlighting a whole-of-government, whole-of-community approach should be added to guide the Strategy

7. The following initiatives should also be included in the Strategy:

a) A Victorian Suicide Prevention Act to deliver whole-of-government focus and accountability

b) The further expansion of aftercare services to ensure universal access and suitable forms of clinical and non-clinical support are available

c) The development of new supports after a suicide attempt or suicidal distress for family and loved ones impacted

d) The adoption of the Standards for Quality Improvement to ensure supports commissioned under the new strategy are safe, quality and effective

e) Initiatives to support means restriction and community safety

f) Expansion of safe spaces and alternatives to emergency departments including youth-focused alternatives

g) Preventing gambling-related suicides

h) Local Suicide Prevention Networks to drive local impact and coordination

i) Establishment of a Suicide Prevention Unit within the Victorian Public Services Commission to build capability across the Victorian Government

j) A focus on demonstrably high-risk industries and workplaces

k) The inclusion of peer support as part of formal postvention supports


You can read the full submission on the Draft Victorian Suicide Prevention and Response Strategy.


If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to one of our free helplines.

Suicide Call Back Service1300 659 467
SuicideLine Victoria1300 651 251

Our professional counsellors are available to provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.