Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is saving lives and supporting people at their most vulnerable across Victoria, with the expansion of the successful Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) initiative.

Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing announced today the program will be rolled out to six new hospital and health service sites, including Latrobe Regional Hospital.

The HOPE initiative provides practical support and follow up for people leaving hospital after a suicide attempt. Assertive outreach workers also work with families, friends and carers so they can better support their loved one during this critical time.

More than 500 people have been assessed and supported through the initiative so far, which is currently in operation at Peninsula Health, St Vincent’s Hospital, Barwon Health in Geelong; Eastern Health in Maroondah and Albury Wodonga Health in Wangaratta.

The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $18.7 million to expand the HOPE program, with the new sites selected based on analysis of suicide and intentional self-injury data, population demographics and community profiles.

The program will now be rolled out at Latrobe Regional Hospital.

With 624 lives lost to suicide in 2016, the Labor Government is working to halve the suicide rate in Victoria by 2025, and has developed the Victorian Suicide Prevention Framework 2016-25 to achieve this goal.

In addition, the Labor Government has invested $27 million over four years to deliver a range of initiatives, including the HOPE program and community-based suicide prevention activities.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing

“Every year, suicide takes more than twice as many lives as the road toll, and it causes devastating hurt and grief.”

“The HOPE program has already helped hundreds of Victorians who have attempted suicide and need intensive support and assistance – the period after an attempt at suicide often involves significantly heightened risk.”

“By expanding the program to more sites across Victoria, we are working hard to take a proactive approach to suicide prevention and to come together as a community to prevent the tragic loss of more lives to suicide.”