MHIMA blog

MHiMA Update - National Suicide Prevention Conference

MHiMA Team - Friday, July 29, 2016
Latest update from Frank Quinlan, CEO Mental Health Australia:

The MHiMA team attended the National Suicide Prevention Conference in Canberra earlier this week, and were especially pleased to attend the Symposium on suicide prevention in CALD communities chaired by SPA Board Director, Stan Piperoglou. 

A number of critical topics were explored in this Symposium, including the significant gaps in research and data collection for CALD communities, how professionals can support CALD communities to talk about suicide (the Conversations Matter resources), and suicide prevention in a diverse society. The Symposium Panel, which included community representatives from the NSW and Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centres, FECCA and the Refugee Council of Australia, discussed risk and protective factors, and issues including stigma, individual differences, and cultural conformity. There was a strong response from the room about the impact current Government policies are having on the mental health and wellbeing of refugees and asylum seekers. 

Overall, there was a broad consensus that suicide prevention programs in Australia need to better reflect the diversity of the whole population. A call was also made for more concerted and coordinated efforts across governments, as well as between key organisations in the sector. Mental Health Australia remains committed to working with governments and other stakeholders to provide a national focus on mental health and suicide prevention for people from CALD backgrounds. 

We were also pleased to learn Suicide Prevention Australia is currently working on a position statement to address suicide prevention in CALD communities. We look forward to working with SPA and sharing any developments or opportunities for comment with you in the near future. 

And a reminder – the short online survey about your experience of the MHiMA and Framework websites closes 12pm AEDT Sunday 31 July 2016. We look forward to your feedback.

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