Department of Health

Victorian suicide prevention and response strategy

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Public consultation is now underway on Victoria’s new suicide prevention and response strategy.

The strategy will aim to reduce contributing and enhance protective factors, respond to emerging priorities, and present a collective vision and actions, developed in partnership with the Victorian community. It will seek to build a whole-of-government and community-wide response to suicide.

The strategy will build on the existing evidence-base, including the recommendations from the Royal Commission and work being undertaken at the national level. It will respond to emerging priorities and ensure that lived experience knowledge and insights are central.

The strategy will outline a collective vision, developed in partnership with the Victorian community.

Visit the Engage Victoria website to find out more about how to participate.

About the Suicide Prevention and Response Strategy

The new suicide prevention and response strategy will contribute to state and nation-wide efforts by elevating suicide prevention and response across all government-decision making and having a community-wide focus. 

The strategy will build a systems-based approach to suicide prevention and response. Systems-based approaches involve looking at all systems that can influence, and protect against, suicide. This may include employers and workplaces, community or sporting groups, housing and social services, justice and family violence organisations, educational settings, as well as mental health and Alcohol and Other Drug service providers.

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System provided a number of parameters for the strategy. The consultation process will seek input on the following elements: 

  • overarching vision – what we will work towards as a community
  • principles – that will underpin how we develop, implement and monitor the strategy
  • priority areas – where we will focus our attention to have the greatest impact and support achieving our vision
  • priority groups – to support individuals and community groups who are disproportionately affected by suicide
  • actions/initiatives – activities that will increase protective factors and reduce contributing factors for suicide, supporting a community-wide and whole-of-government approach across a person’s life span and in multiple settings

Our engagement approach

To help ensure that the strategy reflects the needs of all Victorians, we’re providing several ways for people to contribute.

Our engagement approach will be diverse to meet the needs of our communities, including:

  • the public submission process via Engage Victoria
  • co-design workshops, roundtables and individual interviews (including with people with lived experience)
  • Aboriginal-led suicide prevention and response approaches based on cultural knowledge and expertise, needs and aspirations
  • targeted conversations and engagement with sector organisations and industry
  • working with all government departments and agencies.

We will also be working with relevant organisations to seek feedback from groups that are disproportionately affected by suicide, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, veterans, people working in high-risk industries, multicultural communities and LGBTIQ+ communities.

Public consultation via Engage Victoria is open until 29 August 2022.

About the Suicide Prevention and Response Office

The establishment of the Suicide Prevention and Response Office was a recommendation of the Royal Commission. Led by a State Suicide Prevention and Response Adviser, the Office was formally established on 1 July 2022.

The Office drives Victoria’s approach to suicide prevention and response, and is responsible for co-producing, implementing and monitoring the new strategy. It is supported by a suite of new advisory and government-wide governance structures recommended by the Royal Commission, including:

  • The Suicide Prevention and Response Secretaries’ Board Subcommittee: which was established in April 2022 and comprises Deputy Secretaries representing all Victorian government departments and executives from Victoria Police, Coroners Court of Victoria and WorkSafe.
  • The Expert Advisory Committee (EAC): once established, the EAC will comprise lived experience and sector experts and representatives from research/academia and non-government organisations. It will provide advice to the Suicide Prevention and Response Office and the Subcommittee on approaches to suicide prevention and response.

Reviewed 29 July 2022

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