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Indigenous Suicide Prevention Strategy

Penny Wright 28 Feb 2012

The Government provided the following, in response to questions asked by Penny Wright.

I seek leave to have the following incorporated into Hansard in response to Senator Wright's questions on the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Strategy.

On 10 September 2011, Ministers Butler, Macklin and Snowdon announced the establishment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Advisory Group to provide guidance on the development of Australia's first national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy (the Strategy).

The Advisory Group has provided advice on the development of the Strategy, including a Request For Tender for the engagement of a consultant to assist in the development of the Strategy, which was released on 12 January 2012 and closed on 8 February 2012.

It is anticipated that the consultant will commence in early April 2012 and that the project will be completed by the end of October 2012.

The development of the Strategy is being funded under the Government's $22 billion Mental Health Reform package announced in the 2011-12 Budget.

In addition, the department is currently finalising a Request for Quotation process to undertake the development and implementation of an Evaluation Framework for suicide prevention activities.

This will include a comprehensive program evaluation of existing activity funded under the National Suicide Prevention Program (NSPP) and new activities funded under the 2010 Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package. Activities targeting Aboriginal and Tones Strait Islander peoples and communities under each program will be incorporated into this overall evaluation. The scope of the assessment component of the project will incorporate suicide prevention activities funded by the Australian Government from 2006 to 2013.

The objective of the evaluation is to inform the evidence base for future policy direction and implementation of suicide prevention activity and to create and put in place a comprehensive evaluation framework for ongoing use.

The National Suicide Prevention Program has Aboriginal and Tones Strait Islander peoples as a priority target group for funding and has committed funding to 13 projects during 2011/12 -2012/13. A full list of these projects is at Attachment A. Through their work at the grass roots level, the projects provide information to the department which may help to identify an emerging suicide cluster within a community or region. The department works closely with local service providers and State government to provide an appropriate and coordinated response.

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