Suicide Prevention Strategy funding failing to reach some of WA’s most vulnerable groups

Suicide Prevention Strategy funding failing to reach some of WA’s most vulnerable groups

13 September 2011

Serious concerns are being raised about the effectiveness of the State’s much-touted Suicide Prevention Strategy amid claims that funding is poorly targeted and taking too long to roll out, according to Greens MLC and mental health spokesperson, Alison Xamon.

“We are now approaching three years since the announcement of the strategy, yet what we are seeing is a significant disconnect emerging between the initial strategy and what funding is becoming available for certain at risk groups. For example, we know that same-sex attracted young people are 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. However, we are yet to see any of the support groups in this area receive approval for funding which is of serious concern,” said Ms Xamon.

Other vulnerable groups include young Aboriginal men, migrants, prisoners and those who are made homeless.

“This money needs to be made available to specialist support groups in the areas of greatest need and this is simply not happening.

“There is real frustration that the opportunity to support appropriate suicide prevent programs and organizations is not being maximized because the funding is not being targeted effectively.

“The reasons why people take their own lives here in WA are complex and specific to our state’s unique geographical, cultural and historical make-up and the Strategy’s funding carve-up should reflect that.

“The Minister for Mental Health needs to explain her funding choices to organisations that have asked for money to help specific high risk groups and been turned down. I think the least Minister Morton can do is give them some answers,” Ms Xamon concluded.

For further comment please contact Alison

Hon Alison Xamon MLC

Member for the East Metropolitan Region

Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051

Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931

Phone: (08) 9272 1718

Fax: (08) 9272 1719

Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services,Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering

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