A SUICIDE monitoring system announced for NSW will enable support services to quickly identify trends and people at immediate risk of self harm.
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor, Attorney General Mark Speakman and NSW Coronet Teresa O' Sullivan launched NSW's Suicide Monitoring system this week.
CEO of Lifeline Central West, Stephanie Robinson said other states have had similar systems in place for several years, and hopes our system will improve suicide prevention services and save lives.
"This is something we have wanted for many years," she said.
"It will give us greater insight to be able to respond and support workplaces, family, or community after a loss. We can see where there may be immediate risks and identify where there is a need for increased support.
"I envisage that there be greater opportunity for collaboration of services and supports to work together to reduce the impact of suicide on a community, through addressing psychosocial risk factors such as substance misuse, loneliness and isolation.
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"Before the suicide monitoring system, we often had to rely on word of mouth, community networks and other means to identify immediate risks because ABS release data around causes of death in October for the calendar year preceding it.
"This monitoring system will give us the opportunity to identify trends, emerging areas of concern and prioritise groups or communities that need urgent attention.
Ms Robinson said Lifeline Central West has successfully been running our Rapid Community Support program which often sees us responding after a critical incident to deliver timely support and debriefing, providing psychological first aid that aids in recovery.
"We are hopeful that we can expand this program in the near future to meet the needs of our communities."
Ms Robinson said she feels there is still a long way to go with 3318 people lost to suicide in 2019 with rural and remote areas disproportionately represented in those statistics.
"I am hopeful that due to increased conversations and encouragement to contact our services throughout the challenges of 2020, indications are thanks to this real time monitoring , that we don't see large increases in the number of people dying by suicide in 2020.