Coalition targets suicide prevention

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Dennis Jensen at the meeting.
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Dennis Jensen at the meeting.

Dr Jensen arranged for WA representatives to speak with Opposition spokeswoman for Mental Health and Aged Care Concetta Fierravanti-Wells about the highly successful workplace suicide prevention program, Working Minds, and to hear the Coalition’s plans for mental health reform.

‘I am a One Life pledge partner and am committed to increasing mental health awareness and suicide prevention throughout Tangney,’ he said.

‘I hosted the key stakeholder meeting to facilitate the sharing of information to ensure best practice for the emerging community needs.’

The Working Minds suicide prevention program goes into WA workplaces and offers strategies to workers dealing with depression and stress.

Dr Jensen said more than 240 businesses had signed up to the program, which allowed outreach to many WA workers who might not have access to mental health services and information.

‘WA leads the country in workplace suicide prevention through the Working Minds Suicide Prevention Strategy,’ Dr Jensen said.

‘It is an essential tool for raising awareness about suicide prevention and it is working very well.

‘But there is a need for further funding. To ensure effective continuance of the strategy it is vital State and Federal governments liaise.’

After the meeting, Ms Fierravanti-Wells said there was a need for structural reform so that federal and state agencies could work together more cohesively.

‘After talking to key stakeholders at this meeting it is clear WA has some exciting mental health initiatives but there was some frustration about the need for resources,’ she said.

‘We need to look at structural reforms so we develop synergies between the state system and the federal system that don’t exist at the moment.

‘The National Mental Health Commission needs more independence and there needs to be a national research centre and a national training institute so we know what works and we can train people to implement those strategies.’