Authors: Alan Woodward
Event: 2023 TheMHS Forum
Subject: Suicide prevention 10 years on: Beyond battle lines
Type of resource: Video
Abstract: It is now 10 years since the seminal publication "Suicide Prevention is a Winnable Battle" by Professor Eric Caine. Many of the key points he made have been subsequently adopted in Australia's 'whole of Government' suicide prevention reforms, including the importance of social determinants being applied to suicide prevention. Prof Caine and others developed the Ecological Model of Suicide Prevention and advocated for the prevention of key factors that generate suicidal behaviour as well as the promotion of factors that could provide protection. This marked an important shift away from intervention and treatment as being the only strategies in suicide prevention. This presentation will explore the journey and changes in the suicide prevention world over the past decade to look at what has led to the approach we are now adopting. What was missing from Professor Caine’s assessment of a decade ago? What are critical factors for effective suicide prevention today, including community engagement, involvement of people with lived experience and equitable access to quality healthcare? Collaboration between all the ‘parts’ is the key to a more comprehensive and contemporary approach to the prevention of suicide. We need the involvement of multiple perspectives and acceptance of more innovative models of care and outreach to those in need of support. We need to avoid creating battle lines over who can do most on a cause that profoundly refuses to be packaged into anyone’s box. We can then win the main battle, together.