Support for Alternative Suicide Risk Models in Hospital Emergencies05/20/2013
Today, one of Australia’s leading medical journals reported that the current model of suicide risk assessment used in hospitals is “unhelpful” and “unreliable”.
Suicide Prevention Australia’s (SPA) CEO Sue Murray said “Australia needs to develop alternative models of care to hospital emergency departments to provide better care for people in crisis.
We believe that taking a holistic approach that extends beyond the medical model to include community-based care to help support individuals in suicidal crisis connect again to a life worth living.”
Patients who present to hospitals in psychological crisis or after a suicide attempt are more than 50 times more likely than the general population to die by suicide in the following year. Fewer than one in 200 of these people will go on to die by suicide in the next 6 months.
The Medical Journal of Australia’s (MJA) editorial by Dr Matthew Large from the University of NSW’s School of Psychiatry wrote that “it is simply not possible to predict suicide in an individual patient and any assessment that does try to sub-divide patients into high risk and low risk categorise is at best unhelpful and at worst will prevent provision of useful and needed psychiatric care.”
Dr Large commented in a Sydney Morning Herald on-line article that “suicide risk assessment leads us to neglect treatment for the people we perceive to be at low risk and it leads down the party of overly restrictive care for this to be perceived to be at high risk.”
The MJA editorial reports that only 3 per cent of those who are identified in the ultra high risk category would suicide in the year after leaving hospital. Meanwhile, about 60 per cent of people who did eventually suicide over the same period would have been categorised at lower risk.
Suicide Prevention Australia is organising a gathering of health professionals and community-minded people to address these critical issues facing suicide prevention at its National Conference for Suicide Prevention in Melbourne 24 July 2013.
“Our role as the peak body in suicide prevention is to bring together all the core groups so we can work together to reach a 50 percent reduction in suicide by 2023,” said Sue Murray.
ABS Cause of Death statistics release03/15/2013
The latest release from the ABS sees for the first time the inclusion of data on the suicide of children and young people under the age of 15 years. The figures released show that 53 deaths by suicide occurred in this age group in the period 2007 to 2011.
“Sadly we know from work done at the state level by the Queensland Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardians (CCYPCG) that these figures could be even higher,” said Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) CEO Sue Murray.
The addition of this information to the Causes of Death report was a recommendation made in the 2009/2010 report of the Senate Inquiry into Suicide in Australia. SPA along with other key stakeholders working in suicide prevention, supported this recommendation and believe that the inclusion of data on child deaths by suicide will provide insights into the risk factors contributing to suicide, allow for the targeting of prevention programs and inform appropriate allocation of resources.
The challenges around accurately capturing information on suicide deaths is an issue that the sector is seeking to improve through the National Committee for Standardised Reporting on Suicide (NCSRS). Stigma, unclear guidelines, delays in coronial processes and differences in state and territory laws can mean suicides go unreported, and in this way the data should still be interpreted with caution.
SPA would like to acknowledge the consultation process the ABS implemented in preparation for this release, particularly around efforts to be considerate of the sensitive nature of reporting the deaths of young people and children. Included within the consultation, SPA-led group, the NCSRS support the approach taken by the ABS in publishing the data and are keen to see ongoing improvements in the quality and availability of suicide mortality and suicide attempt data.
On a broader scale, the statistics on suicide deaths in Australia shows there is no case for complacency: the need for focused attention on suicide remains with 2,272 deaths recorded in 2011. This shows that over the past five years, suicide deaths have remained in the range of 2,100-2,200 each year.
Suicide accounts for more than one in five deaths of younger Australians: for males between 15-34 years of age, and for females between 15-24 years of age. Males continue to be disproportionally represented in suicide statistics with four out of five suicides being men.
SPA acknowledges the grief and loss felt by those bereaved by suicide as well as the suffering and pain experienced by those who attempt or think about suicide.
“All suicide deaths are tragic and the death of a child by suicide especially can leave one at a loss for words. We urge the community to compassionately support to those impacted by suicide and to foster strong social connections to build well being,” said Sue Murray.
SPA recommends that reporting on suicide be in line with the Mindframe guidelines.
Announcing the dates of the 2013 Annual National Suicide Prevention Conference02/20/2013
We are excited to announce the theme and dates of the 2013 Annual National Suicide Prevention Conference.
The theme of the 2013 conference will be Collective Impact: Partners in Prevention and will be held in Melbourne on the 24 – 26th July.
The conference will be an opportunity to share and exchange knowledge, skills and experiences; and facilitate the development of a cohesive, united, and responsive suicide prevention sector.
Reflecting the theme Collective Impact: Partners in Prevention the conference will focus on new approaches to suicide prevention, and showcase the new strategic direction of the suicide prevention sector – collective impact.
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission information sessions02/14/2013
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission will be hosting information sessions across Australia.
The sessions will offer practical guidance and support to understand how the ACNC affects you.
Get up to date with all the changes affecting the sector.
Visit the ACNC website for full details on the sessions http://bit.ly/X6kM09
Winners of the Inaugural Don Ritchie Awards for Suicide Prevention02/01/2013
Suicide Prevention Australia was last night honoured to host the Inaugural NSW Don Ritchie Awards for Suicide Prevention.
Established by the New South Wales state government, the NSW ‘Don Ritchie’ Awards for Suicide Prevention serve to recognise individuals and organisations or community groups in NSW that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to suicide prevention in their local area.
We would like to offer our congratulations to the winners of the awards;
Organisation Award winner:
The R U OK? Foundation is dedicated to encouraging people to connect on a regular basis to prevent isolation and other factors that contribute to suicide by hosting a national day of action – R U OK?Day – and developing relevant resources for diverse audiences throughout the year.
Individual Winner Award winner:
Ann-Maree’s work at the National Association for Grief and Loss (NALAG’s) Suicide Prevention Network, especially in helping to organise NALAG’s Walk Towards Hope. The Walk Towards Hope is an annual initiative to shine a light on suicide prevention in the Central West of NSW, remember those who have lost their lives to suicide, support those bereaved by suicide and stand in solidarity in an effort to reduce the stigma and shame associated with help-seeking behaviour. Ann-Maree was also nominated for setting up her business Hart & Mind Wellbeing which is primarily dedicated to providing a range of services in the area of prevention, intervention and postvention.
Highly Commended Award winner:
Dramatic Minds Festival Working Party
Accepted by Carolyn Enshaw
Holding the Dramatic Minds Festival for high school students. Four high schools from the region took part and each presented a ten-minute play based on a mental health issue. The students form Oaklands Central School, Corowa High, James Fallon High and Albury High covered issues including bullying, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, grief, loss and autism.
Financial Report from June 11 – June 12 is now available01/29/2013
Suicide Prevention Australia’s annual financial report can now be viewed here.