Suicide prevention grants to double, focus on at-risk groups Nambucca Valley by News Of The Area - Modern Media - December 8, 2021 THE Federal Government is increasing suicide prevention grants to organisations across the country to help reduce Australia’s suicide rate towards zero. Organisations across the Nambucca Valley can now apply for funding through the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program Grant Opportunity, with $114 million available for national projects that will raise awareness of the impact of suicide and support Australians who are at risk. Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said supporting the mental health and wellbeing of Australians is a national priority and something the Federal Government is deeply committed to. “The last two years have been a particularly difficult time for many people right across Australia and specifically the Mid North Coast, with the COVID-19 pandemic taking a toll on mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Conaghan said. “There are many organisations across our region, from Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie who have stepped up and have been working tirelessly to support those in our community who are struggling. “I encourage these organisations to apply for this grant opportunity so they can continue to deliver and upscale the important work they do each and every day.” Specific vulnerable groups – including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, veterans, men, regional communities, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities – have been identified as the primary focus of the Grant Opportunity as these groups have higher rates of suicide than the general population. Funding will be shared across various activity streams, including: Suicide prevention support for at risk populations and communities ($64.5 million). Support for lived experience of suicide ($6 million) Suicide prevention training ($18 million) National leadership in suicide prevention ($4.5 million) National leadership in suicide prevention research translation ($3 million) National media and communications strategies ($15 million) Mr Conaghan said that suicide is a national tragedy, with 3,139 Australians taking their lives in 2020. “One life lost to suicide is one too many,” Mr Conaghan said. “While it was heartening to see a 5.4 per cent reduction in the number of suicides in 2020, suicide remains a significant public health issue in Australia. “Every suicide death has a devastating impact on families, friends and communities and that’s why we are deeply committed to driving the suicide rate towards zero.” “We’re particularly interested to see applications that focus on populations and communities that are disproportionately impacted by suicide, such as men and boys and people in regional, rural and remote Australia,” Mr Conaghan continued. “We know that men are three times more likely than women to take their life, but less likely to access mental health support. We also know that people in rural, regional and remote Australia have a much higher rate of suicide than people in metropolitan Australia. “The support that will be provided through the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program will be vitally important in helping to reduce the number of people we lose to suicide each year.” Through the 2021-22 Budget, the Government is investing a record $2.3 billion in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to deliver landmark reform in mental health support and treatment for Australians in need. The Plan recognises Australians need a system that acts early to help people before mental health conditions and suicidal distress worsen, and that whole-of-government and whole-of-community changes are needed to deliver preventive, compassionate, and effective care. The additional investments will take the annual federal health expenditure on mental health and suicide prevention to a historic record of $6.5 billion this year alone. The National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program is now open. Applications will close on 28 January 2022. For more information and to view the Grant Opportunity Guidelines visit: www.grants.gov.au.