In Health

Northern Territory Minister for Health David Tollner

Mills Government Committed To Suicide Prevention

Victor P Taffa

The Northern Territory has the highest suicide rate in Australia, nearly double the national average, Minister for Health David Tollner said today as the Northern Territory marked World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day.

“It is a sad reality that in the Northern Territory more people are lost to suicide than die in car accidents.” Mr. Tollner said.

The Minister welcomes the strong support of the NT News in raising public awareness of these issues.

Mr. Tollner explained that most at risk are young Indigenous males in remote communities and non-Indigenous young men in our towns and cities.

“One of the areas I am very concerned about is our at risk young people and I put my full support behind some of the great initiatives targeting this group.” Mr. Tollner said.

“The Department of Health has a Suicide Prevention Program that specifically focuses on Suicide Prevention and Education aimed at reducing suicide and fostering individual and community resilience and capacity.”

“One of the fantastic programs implemented by the Department’s Suicide Prevention Program that is getting results is Counterpunch the boxing-based program which builds resilience and emotional self-regulation by combining the physical discipline of boxing with the supportive psychological strategies around making positive choices.”

“Over 60 young people in Darwin access the program each semester as part of an alternative education curriculum. Our Government will ensure this valuable program reaches more young Territorians by expanding the program to Jabiru and Katherine later this year.” Mr. Tollner said.

“The Mills Government is committed to another of the Department’s Suicide Prevention Initiatives which is training community members and frontline workers to better recognise when people are at risk and to give them the skills to know what to do.”

“I know men usually find it hard to talk about their feelings, so it’s important that we reach out to them at those times when they are most vulnerable, such as when they are experiencing relationship difficulties or when they are having problems at work.”

“We support educating men in the workplace to better look out for their mates as well as community action groups to help make their communities safer.” Mr. Tollner said.

“Even though it’s a hard thing to talk about in our families, in our workplaces and in our communities, that’s what we need to do.”

“All Territorians can play a part in tackling suicide by supporting our young people to make positive life choices such as keeping active, talking about life experiences, drinking sensibly and working together to help protect those who are vulnerable in our community.” Mr. Tollner said.

Help is always at hand for individuals or family members who may have concerns about themselves or their loved ones with the availability of the free 24 hour mental health telephone service NT CATT on 1800 682 288.

The NT Government also values organisations such as Lifeline, who are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide a helping hand to those in need.

If you are concerned about a family member or friend assistance can be sought from Lifeline on 13 11 14, or your local GP, Mental Health Service, Emergency Department or Police Service.

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