New Support Service for People Impacted by Suicide in Cootamundra Electorate

People impacted by suicide in the Cootamundra electorate will now have access to a new support service to help them navigate the day-to-day challenges brought about by the tragic death of a member of their community.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said that post-suicide, it is critical to support loved ones as well as the wider community. 

“For friends and family, the death of a loved one by suicide is not only heartbreaking and shocking, it can also create new challenges as well as making day-to-day tasks incredibly difficult,’ Ms Cooke said.

“Through this service a range of resources will be provided for loved ones and families impacted, including counselling to help them access financial assistance and guiding them through the coronial process.”

The StandBy service is now available in the Murrumbidgee and Western NSW South region. The service being provided through Wellways, a leading not-for-profit mental health organisation that supports people with mental health issues, their carers, families and communities.

“I know first-hand the great support Wellways offers those impacted by suicide. The team have been outstanding in providing useful resources to the community at eleven of the mental health information nights I have held so far,” Ms Cooke added.

NSW Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said this service is a vital part of the State’s suicide reduction strategy.

“We know that around 135 people can be impacted by a single suicide,” Mrs Taylor said.

“Losing a loved one to suicide is one of the most horrific and painful things to process and live with. We want to be there for people in these painful weeks and months in ways that can really help.”

The state-wide rollout of post-suicide support services is thanks to a joint investment by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

To find out more or to access these services, please call 1300 727 247 at any time or visit

If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 (Triple Zero).

For anyone who is struggling, you can call the below helplines for support and advice:

Lifeline 13 11 14 | Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 | NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511.

New Services Bring Mental Health Support Closer to Home for Cootamundra Electorate

People in the Cootamundra electorate experiencing mental health distress will now be
able to access support in two new ways, thanks to a pair of new suicide prevention

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke welcomed the addition of two Safe Havens to
existing community-based supports in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.
“Instead of struggling alone, anyone who is experiencing mental health distress can
now head to the purpose-designed Safe Havens at Wagga and Griffith,” Ms Cooke

“There are no appointments or referrals needed, so whether you need some peace
and quiet, a chat with someone who understands what you’re going through, or some
calming activities to reduce the intensity of your negative thoughts and feelings, you
can walk right in.”

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the Safe Haven was staffed by peer
workers who were trained in helping people cope with severe distress.

“We know suicide prevention support needs to engage distressed people where they
live their lives – so we can provide support at the point before someone needs clinical

The support offered through the Safe Haven will be complemented by a new mobile
Suicide Prevention Outreach Team (SPOT) team on hand to provide outreach to
people in suicidal distress.

“We know thoughts of suicide can be triggered by a painful experience – such as a
divorce, unemployment, retirement or death of a loved one – and these mobile teams
will support people where they live their day to day lives,” Ms Cooke added.

“The new team will combine clinical expertise and lived experience of suicide, and
care for people at or near their homes – ensuring they stay connected with their family, friends and other valuable support networks,” Mrs Taylor said.

If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal
crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511

Steph Cooke Welcomes $130 Million Mental Health Recovery Package

People in the Cootamundra electorate will soon benefit from the NSW Government’s new $130 million package which will provide immediate access to help for anyone whose mental health has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms Cooke said the funding boost will work to cut headspace waitlists, provide more access to psychology, psychiatry and other allied health services, and introduce community led wellbeing programs and events. The investment will also launch a state-wide suicide prevention training program for 275,000 parents, high school teachers, sports coaches, community leaders and youth workers – the biggest suicide prevention training program ever undertaken.

“This package focuses on making sure people young and old can turn to trusted people in every corner of their community for support, whether that be a teacher or the coach or captain at the footy club, and when they do, they will not be turned away,” Ms Cooke said.

“As we enter our new COVID-normal this investment will boost capacity to meet demand and making sure our small communities are at the centre of the recovery.”

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the lockdown combined with working from home and home schooling has seen a record number of people reach out to crisis lines.

“As we navigate the economic recovery from this pandemic we must also support people’s mental wellbeing along the way.”

“By reducing the wait time for local headspaces, and opening up more funded psychology and psychiatry places, we will ensure that parents, children and the most vulnerable in our community can get the help they need now,” Mr Perrottet said.

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the new funding will train 275,000 people in the community to become mental health first aiders.

“We want NSW to be a whole state of mental health champions, which is why we’re launching a statewide community training blitz to make sure help is always close at hand, from the schoolyard to the sports club and beyond.” Mrs Taylor said.

“The boost will also provide nearly 150,000 additional consultations with psychologists and psychiatrists, free up more mental health beds, and introduce mental health initiatives in local sports clubs and community groups.”

The new funding builds on the $2.6 billion 2021-2022 NSW Mental Health Budget – the largest mental health investment in the State’s history.