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.

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.

National Suicide Prevention Trial

In 2016, the Australian Government launched the National Suicide Prevention Trial. This initiative was focused on trialling systems approaches to suicide prevention in 12 regions across Australia, with the aim of testing how community-led approaches can help reduce the rate of suicide attempts and deaths. Tasmania was one of 12 sites around the country taking part in the trial and focused on men aged 40-64, as well as men and women over the age of 65.

The three Tasmanian trial sites that took part in the trial were:

• Break O’Day
• Launceston
• Burnie, Central Coast and Devonport.

In January 2020, the Australian Government announced a 12-month extension to the National Suicide Prevention Trial. The extended trial finished in June 2021, and focused on transitioning and sustaining existing suicide prevention activity. Primary Health Tasmania is providing support to the three sites beyond this time, to embed the lessons learned from their participation in the trial.

Activity in each trial site was 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.

Click here to find out more about suicide prevention trial activity conducted at the three trial sites, plus lessons learned, in Tasmania.

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.

 

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.

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.

Helplines

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