Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has today encouraged the community to get involved in the development of the Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW.

“The key to reducing suicide rates in the country does not lie just with individuals but with whole communities,” Ms Cooke said.

“Together we can build strong, connected, and informed communities where no-one feels isolated and everyone knows how to find help or offer it if needed.

“That’s why we are asking the members of our community to help us understand what is or isn’t working across the Cootamundra electorate.”

Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies explained the Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW project is being led by NSW Health and the Mental Health Commission of NSW and will set out fundamental principles for suicide prevention across the state.

“We need to empower every community to co-ordinate the essential elements of suicide prevention in a way that suits their own local needs,” Mrs Davies said.

“To guide the project the Mental Health Commission of NSW has developed a comprehensive survey for members of the community to complete. We encourage every person who has been affected by the tragedy of suicide to provide the Commission with their feedback.”

Advice is also being sought from more than 35 organisations including Lifeline, NSW Ambulance, NSW Police, Black Dog Institute, Beyondblue, NSW Farmers Association, Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council, ACON, Primary Health Networks and the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health.

The survey, developed by the Commission in consultation with NGOs and community organisations, can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/communitysuicideprev.

If you or someone you know needs crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14, MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78, or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800. For mental health services in Cootamundra phone the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.