From 2010 to 2017 the suicide rate for Victorian males decreased from 15.6 per 100,000 people to 14.0 per 100,000 people.
In contrast, the suicide rate for females increased from 4.6 per 100,000 people in 2010 to 5.4 per 100,000 people in 2017 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018).
The Victorian suicide prevention framework 2016–25, released in July 2016, aims to halve Victoria’s suicide rate by 2025 (Department of Health and Human Services 2016).
It provides $27 million over four years to support the implementation of two flagship trial initiatives:
Place-based suicide prevention trials
Place-based suicide prevention trials are being delivered in partnership with Primary Health Networks in 12 sites across Victoria (as shown in Figure 1).
These trials support local communities to develop and implement proactive suicide prevention strategies.
Each site is actively engaging with the local community and has established governance structures, reviewed groups at risk of suicide and developed action plans.
Local activities include training to build the confidence and skills of people with lived experience in talking about suicide, supporting GPs to recognise and help people at risk of suicide and working with the community to develop a protocol for response after a suicide.
The Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement initiative
The Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement initiative currently operates at six health services across Victoria.
For the last 12 to 18 months the initiative has supported more than 800 people and their families in the period following a suicide attempt.
The 2018–19 State Budget allocated an additional $18.7 million to expand the Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement initiative to another six sites in Victoria, demonstrating the commitment to innovative, person-centred and trauma-informed psychosocial responses to suicide prevention.
Figure 1: Victorian suicide prevention trial site locations
Source: Department of Health and Human Services
The Victorian Government is also working with partners to improve the collection and analysis of suicide-related data to support statewide and localised suicide prevention planning.
National strategy on intentional self-harm (suicides)
On behalf of all governments, Victoria is also leading the development of the new National suicide prevention implementation strategy.
This strategy will embody the collective aspiration of all governments that fewer lives are lost to suicide, and it will be supported by every health minister in Australia. It is due for release in 2020.
It is being informed by an open consultation process, including feedback from people who have attempted suicide, people with suicidal thoughts, carers, loved ones and those bereaved.
Find out more
The department has a suicide prevention webpage which details additional suicide prevention strategies in Victoria.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Causes of death Australia 2017, ,Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
Department of Health and Human Services 2016, Victorian suicide prevention framework 2016–25, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne.
Reviewed 10 March 2023