Government should embrace target on reducing self-harm


Still, tactics revolve around the topic, believing that suicide is something that only touches other people, other families, or believing that talking openly about it makes others follow suit. may encourage to do so, so attempts to cover it don’t seem particularly successful.

If we really want to do something about suicide deaths in this country, we need to be able to talk openly and honestly about it.

It’s not going to be easy. As Matt Berryman, the recently appointed chairman of Mental Health Australia, pointed out, To inform: “People need to be comfortable being uncomfortable with if they want change.”

Today, Mr. Berryman launched a campaign calling on the federal government to set a national goal to reduce suicide deaths by 25 percent by 2025.

It is not without precedent. Facing a suicide epidemic, Scotland in 2002 set a target of reducing the suicide rate by 20 percent over the next decade, reaching 19 percent by 2013.

In Australia, however, the government has been reluctant to set specific targets, leading to the belief that the only acceptable target is zero suicide.

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The Turnbull government rejected mental health bodies’ calls for the target in 2015. Those calls were repeated in 2017 and 2018.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt continues to argue today that “zero is the only acceptable goal because it recognizes the value of every life. Every single life lost to suicide is one too many.”

This, Mr Berryman says, is an “unrealistic maternity statement” that undermines the accountability of the government.

Instead, they believe that a more realistic goal will provide a needed goal and reveal whether preventive strategies are actually working. “With mental health,” he says, “I think there is very little accountability.”

As we report today, it should be noted that the government is not sitting on its own hands, launching initiatives including the first National Suicide Prevention Advisory, the establishment of a National Suicide Prevention Office and post-self-harm or suicide leave. The effort to fund universal care for the given, some experts say, is key in preventing further efforts.

But, he To inform Sees no reason why these initiatives cannot exist with a target framework encouraging accountability and goal setting. Simply put, what is measured has a better chance of being fulfilled.

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