'Better outreach': CQ added to suicide prevention program

CENTRAL Queensland will be added to the federal government's suicide prevention trial sites after an extension of the program was announced on Monday night.

Federal minister for health Greg Hunt told ABC's 7.30 program the government would announce more rural suicide prevention sites including in central Queensland, western New South Wales, Darwin and Geraldton.

The four additional sites are on top of the eight previously announced as part of the government's $192 million 2016 election promise to tackle mental health.

"I, like many Australians, have known friends who have lost loved ones - it stays with everybody," he told ABC's 7.30.

"I won't make a false promise about overnight changes ... but I will make a guarantee that in every one of these trial sites, the goal is to improve services, to reduce waiting times, to make sure that we have better outreach."

The expansion will help regional communities suffering from the effects of mental health issues at the local level, by providing increased services and local resources, the Minister said.

During last night's program Mr Hunt said the roll out would differ between the 12 communities, depending on what is prompting a battle with mental health.

"We are bringing together and coordinating federal, state and local governments, GPs and mental health service providers to identify issues and deliver a tailored response to a community or individual need," he said.

"It could be a community drought, a community with ice or simply a cultural climate where things have got out of hand and there's a sense of loss or hopelessness."

However it's unclear how each of the new sites would be rolled out and funded.

It has previously been reported each site would receive up to $3 million over three years.

If you are seeking support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.


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