Back to Blog

Productivity Commission’s call for suicide prevention coordination is a lifesaver


Nov 18, 2020

Monday, November 16, 2020 – Sydney, Australia

The country’s leading provider of suicide prevention training says today’s release of the Productivity Commission’s Report into Mental Health is a reminder that coordination is a key to saving many more Australian lives.

LivingWorks Australia CEO Shayne Connell said the Commission’s call for structural changes to the delivery of suicide intervention deserved widespread acceptance by the sector.

“We echo the call for a whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention across different levels of government and portfolios,” Connell said.

“We continue to work with primary health networks supporting communities, priority populations, first responders, workplaces, financial touchpoints, Veterans , health staff, and in schools.

“We’ve been providing suicide prevention first aid training in Australia for 30 years and reducing duplication through better coordination would be a massive step forward.”

Connell said LivingWorks Australia also supported the Commission’s call for the National Mental Health Commission to have a greater role in evaluating current suicide prevention approaches.

“Suicide prevention should be evidence-based and not just evidence-informed and the Commission is ideally placed to provide that,” he said.

“We also note the recommendation for the establishment of a national clinical trials network in mental health and suicide prevention.”

Connell said LivingWorks Australia agreed with the call that mandatory suicide prevention training be provided for school staff.

“We also note the call for Indigenous organisations to be the preferred providers of suicide prevention activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which mirrors the approach of LivingWorks Australia,” Connell said.

“But the fact is that mental illness and suicide is estimated to cost the Australian economy up to about $70 billion per year, yet we only spend about $0.5 billion per year on reducing mental ill-health and preventing suicide, and $9.2 billion per year treating people who have developed mental illness.”

LivingWorks Australia’s suicide first aid training includes the world-renowned two-day ASIST, half-day safeTALK, and the new 90-minute online Start programs. For more information about LivingWorks Australia skills training visit

For media information, call Marc Bryant at LivingWorks on 0427 227 503.