In Canberra on May 24, leaders in suicide and mental health, led by consultancy ConNetica and the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, released details on suicide across 28 Federal electorates. 

Adj Professor and ConNetica Director, John Mendoza said “We call upon every candidate in the House of Representatives and the Senate to spell out what they will do for their communities to tackle suicide and self-harm.” 

All candidates in the 2 July election were called on to sign a pledge to address the rising toll of suicide and self-harm across Australia. “Since the election was called at least 320 Australians will have died by suicide. Nearly 2.5 times the number of road deaths. These are young people, people with families and older Australians. The damage to families and communities cannot go on - we must see concerted action by Government,” Mr Mendoza added.
To date, 21 candidates and a former member of Parliament have signed this pledge. The names and candidatures of the signatories have been posted on social media to formally acknowledge those who have pledged, and their commitment in the lead up to the election. Those who have signed thus far are as follows:

Jane Austin – Labor Candidate for Denison
Jason Ball – Greens Candidate for Higgins
Catryna Bilyk – Labor Senator Tasmania
Katy Gallagher – Labor Senator ACT
Tony Gibson – Greens Candidate for Fisher
Bill Gissane – Labor Candidate for Fisher
Bronwyn Herbertson – Labor Candidate for Groom
Christina Hobbs – Greens Candidate for ACT Senate
Christian Kunde – Labor Candidate for Farrer
Hovig Melkonian – Labor Candidate for Casey
Claire Moore – Labor Senator Queensland
Ted O’Brien – Liberal Candidate for Fairfax
Steven Purcell – Greens Candidate for Oxley
Kim Richards – Labor Candidate for Bowman
Janet Rice – Greens Senator Victoria
Tim Roberts – Greens Candidate for Hinkler
Brad Scott – Greens Candidate for Bowman
Zed Seselja – Liberal Senator ACT
Tony Staley – Former Liberal Member for Chisholm
Wayne Swan – Labor Member for Lilley
Wendy Tubman – Greens Candidate for Herbert
Valerie Weier – Greens Candidate for Kennedy

The pledge to take action to reduce suicide asked candidates to commit to:

support the recommendations of the National Mental Health Commission relating to suicide prevention to develop and introduce sustainable, comprehensive, whole-of-community approaches to suicide prevention
work together with parliamentary colleagues and communities to agree on strategies that will reduce suicide, and to
actively support the “Action Agenda for the 45th Parliament”, by supporting a national approach to suicide prevention, the collection and analysis of better data, development and delivery of regionally relevant responses, increased education and mental health system reform.

Copies of the pledge can be obtained from the ConNetica website (www.connetica.com.au). 

Mr Mendoza has continued to encourage candidates to sign. “Australians have a right to know what our political leaders will do about this. We are calling upon all the major parties to outline what they will do to address suicide if they are elected.”

“Suicide and self-harm are now major public health problems in Australia that require a public health response.”

Media contacts: Rebecca Philpot 0400 827 661 / Marion Wands 0414 726 826  

urther details at: www.connetica.com.au

**NOTE FOR MEDIA**
Reporting of suicide
Mindframe supports media professionals with guidelines and resources available to assist with the responsible reporting of suicide:
Information and guides to safe reporting of suicide and self-harm
Downloadable resources to assist with reporting suicide and self-harm
Australian media industry codes and standards on the issue of reporting suicide.
 
Key national 24/7 crisis support services include:
Lifeline 13 11 14 Lifeline
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 Suicide Call back Service
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978 MensLine Australia
beyondlblue 1300 224 636 beyondblue
 
Key national youth support services include:
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 Kids Helpline
headspace 1800 650 890 headspace