Suicide prevention

Suicide affects individuals, families and communities in Tasmania and across Australia.

Primary Health Tasmania is working with communities and service providers to reduce the incidence and impact of suicide.

National Suicide Prevention Trial

Tasmania is one of 12 sites around the country taking part in an Australian Government-funded trial, which aims to test how a community-led approaches can help reduce the rate of suicide attempts and deaths.

The three Tasmanian trial sites are:

Activity in each trial site is coordinated by a local organisation which works closely with community members and service providers: St Helens Neighbourhood House in the Break O’Day municipality, Launceston City Council in Launceston’s northern suburbs and Relationships Australia in the north west.

Each trial site is using the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan approach to suicide prevention – a model that combines nine evidence-based strategies to develop a “safety net” for vulnerable people in a community.

The Australian Government has provided $3 million for the Tasmanian component of the trial, which focuses on men aged 40-64, as well as men and women over the age of 65.

Click here to find out more about activity happening across the three trial sites in Tasmania, and how to get involved.

Click here to download summaries of trial activity across the three trial sites, from January 2018 to June 2019.

Tasmanian Communications Charter

Tasmania is the first state to adopt the National Communications Charter — a unifying resource for mental health, suicide prevention, government, business, and community organisations. On a local level, the Tasmanian Communications Charter champions a safe and stigma-free approach to talking about suicide that is consistent across various branches of the community.

Primary Health Tasmania is signatory to the Tasmanian Communications Charter.

You can find out more about it here.

Tasmanian HealthPathways

Primary Health Tasmania has produced a range of Tasmanian HealthPathways for local practitioners on topics such as:

  • suicide risk
  • suicide prevention in youth
  • depression in older adults
  • deliberate self-harm.

Click here to access the Tasmanian HealthPathways portal.

The role of pharmacists in suicide prevention

Are you interested in mental health and suicide risk, and believe that these issues directly impact your role as a community pharmacist? Do you think the current COVID-19 situation is likely to increase people’s anxiety and mental health issues?

We invite you to engage with us on a new project exploring the role of pharmacists in suicide prevention, that recognises that pharmacists and pharmacies are often a key point of first contact for many people in the community.

The project highlights the important role pharmacists play and will provide training and resources to improve the confidence of pharmacists to identify and support people in distress and/or at risk of suicide. The Suicide Prevention Training for Pharmacists course (run by Black Dog Institute) is designed for pharmacists and the community pharmacy setting. The project also intends to educate Tasmanian pharmacists about the Suicide Risk Tasmanian HealthPathway, and who they can access and use it in their work, alongside other health professionals.

Sessions are happening throughout late August and early September. You can register for the free online event here.

You can read more about the initial Hobart training session, which Primary Health Tasmania supported, here.

Question, Persuade, Refer

As part of the Australian Government’s National Suicide Prevention Trial, Primary Health Tasmania has purchased licences for QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Gatekeeper Training through the Black Dog Institute.

QPR is an online education program that aims to teach people the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond following three steps: Question, Persuade and Refer.

Click here to find out how you can access the free training.


Our commissioned activity

Primary Health Tasmania also supports other local initiatives designed to reduce suicide, as part of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.

This includes working with local organisations to provide early intervention programs for people in remote and rural parts of the state, as well as those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

We also target workers by supporting workplace training in mental health and wellbeing awareness, resilience skilling and capacity building across different industries.

Find out more about our commissioned services by exploring Our Services Portal.

Mark Fishwick was relaxing at home one Saturday night when his phone unexpectedly rang. It was one of the Tasmanian Building Group Apprenticeship Scheme (TasBGAS) field officer’s apprentices, and he wasn’t in a good place.
“It was strange of him to call at that time, and I worked out that he was considering self harm,” he remembers.
Mark, who has spent the last 20 years managing apprenticeships in Tasmania, was able to use some of his own training to de-escalate the young man’s distress.
He’s lost three apprentices to suicide in his lifetime – but, thankfully, none since TasBGAS started working with OzHelp Tasmania to deliver training and support to the young workers in their care.
Read more here.


Primary Health Tasmania does not offer health services, crisis, or emergency support.

Your regular general practitioner/doctors surgery should always be your first point of call if you need medical or mental health care

In an emergency, call Triple 000 for Ambulance, Fire or Police

For health advice on health services open at night, public holidays and weekends, visit the Tas After Hours website.

The following helplines are also available for urgent assistance:

  • Mental Health Services Helpline (DHHS) 1800 332 388
  • Lifeline Crisis Help 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselling (DHHS – Afterhours) 1800 811 994
  • Poison Information Centre 13 11 26