Rockliff must act and establish independent Suicide Prevention Commission

Tasmanian Labor

After two years of failing Tasmanians as the Minister responsible for Mental Health, Jeremy Rockliff must immediately act after the release of confronting new data on suicide rates.

Shadow Health Minister Dr Bastian Seidel said as the new statistics reveal Tasmania’s age-standardised suicide rates are now the country’s second highest, Mr Rockliff must finally work with mental health organisations and, as a matter of urgency, fund the establishment of an independent Suicide Prevention Commission in the Liberal’s next budget.

Dr Seidel said the report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed 108 Tasmanians took their lives in 2019.

“It is tragic that suicide remains the number one cause of death for younger Australians aged between 18-24 and up to nine suicides each month in Tasmania is just devastating,” Dr Seidel said.

“Suicide has an overwhelming effect on families and communities but it’s unacceptable that there has been such inaction and failure to address critical mental health issues on Mr Rockliff’s watch as the Minister responsible for Mental Health for the past two years.

“Tasmanians do not need more reviews or discussion papers or more tokenistic words of comfort from this Minister – they need action and they need a genuine effort to address mental health and suicide prevention.

“That includes a whole-of-community approach.

“It’s not good enough that the Liberal Government continues to talk up an economy they claim is booming but at the same time continues to neglect Tasmania’s most vulnerable.”

Dr Bastian Seidel MLC

Shadow Health Minister

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