Australian-first Suicide Prevention Law passes Parliament

Nation-leading legislation on suicide prevention has passed the South Australian Parliament, building on the Marshall Liberal Government’s strong record on suicide prevention.

The Suicide Prevention Bill, which is the first of its kind in an Australian jurisdiction, establishes a Suicide Prevention Council as a statutory body and builds on the work of the Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said he was proud to be part of a Government that has introduced and passed legislation that will help take our suicide prevention efforts to the next level.

“Every suicide has a devastating effect on families and communities, and this legislation demonstrates our commitment to reduce the incidence of deaths by suicide in South Australia and to deliver best practice suicide prevention strategies across the state,” said Minister Wade.

“Suicide prevention is a priority of the Marshall Liberal Government. From Opposition we committed to, and in Government we delivered, the first Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention in Australia. The Council’s work on this important issue has led the way in the development of this law.

“I thank the former Chair of the Council, Hon John Dawkins, and members of the Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention for their national leadership in this area and with this Bill.

“I look forward to seeing this whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention implemented in 2022.”

Significant community and stakeholder consultation on the Suicide Prevention Bill was conducted over many months, with feedback and suggestions incoroprated into the Bill and the final laws that passed, including the addition of a first responder to the Suicide Prevention Council.

In addition to eight weeks of public consultation on the YourSAy website and 30 participants in webinars, almost 600 letters were sent inviting feedback from individuals and organisations, including all members of the South Australian Parliament.

As a result of the historic Bill’s passage through Parliament, a statutory based Suicide Prevention Council comprising 13 members will be established with a requirement that at least one member:

  • has experience of leadership in suicide prevention initiatives or services in a non-government organisation.
  • has experience in a leadership position in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander and the multicultural community.
  • is a veteran with lived experience of suicide or experience in supporting veterans with this lived experience.
  • is a current or previous first responder with lived experience of suicide, or experience supporting other first responders with lived experience of suicide
  • is a member of the LGBTIQ+ community with lived experience of suicide or has leadership experience in this community.
  • has lived experience of suicidal behaviour.
  • is a clinical professional with experience in providing care to people with lived experience of suicide or who may be at risk of suicide.
  • is a person with experience in suicide prevention commissioning from primary health networks.
  • is a researcher with expertise in suicidology or suicide prevention or mental health.

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