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This World Mental Health Day the Government should announce strong plan to reduce suicide rates

On World Mental Health Day Australian Greens Mental Health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert is calling on the Government to make clear its plan to reduce climbing suicide rates.

“Today Government should reflect on how to reduce increasing suicides rates in this country. We recently learned that suicide rates are at a ten year high, this should urgently jolt the Government into action.

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Suicide rates at ten year high shows more work to do and should prompt a national suicide prevention target: Greens

Suicide rates hitting a devastating ten year high should jolt the Government into implementing a national suicide prevention target whilst addressing what else we need to be doing, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“At a time when so many people are working hard to focus on mental health and suicide rates, it is devastating that suicide rates have hit a ten year high.

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Greens call for national suicide prevention target for World Suicide Prevention Day

In the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day Australian Greens Mental Health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert is calling on the Government to adopt a national suicide prevention target.

“For the past 10 years, the suicide rate in Australia has not dropped. Action is needed to address the tragedy of people talking their own lives.

“The theme this year is connect, communicate and care, as Suicide Prevention Australia points out, these three words are at the heart of suicide prevention.

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Greens support for R U OK? Day

In the lead up to tomorrow's R U OK Day Australian Greens Mental Health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert is urging the community to ask their friends, families and colleagues ‘are you okay?’

“On R U OK? Day, we should ask our loved ones and colleagues if they are okay and be prepared and supportive if the person they ask says no, or struggles to answer. This is a very important question, it’s important we reach out and help those who aren't OK.

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WA Greens condemn offensive Royal Show exhibit

Western Australian Greens at the State and Federal level have condemned a Royal Perth Show exhibition which encourages participants to poke sticks at mental health patients and stigmatises people with mental health issues.

"Mocking people with mental health issues and playing up horrifically outdated stereotypes is completely inappropriate, I simply can't believe that the makers of the exhibit and the Perth Royal Show would think this is acceptable," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Suicide prevention funding a welcome step


Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed reports that $6 million will be invested in WA's Kimberley region to tackle high suicide rates in Aboriginal communities.

"The increased rate of suicide, including clusters of suicides, has been a concern for an extended period of time in WA's north," Senator Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health said today.

"I am encouraged by this investment, and those announced by the WA Government, and I hope it is the beginning of a better approach to this problem around the country.

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Action on Better Access is necessary to protect patients

The Australian Greens have recommended that the Federal Government postpones changes to the Better Access program to ensure the ongoing delivery of services to patients.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Chair of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into Commonwealth Funding and Administration of Mental Health Services has made a series of recommendations in her additional comments to the Committee's majority report.

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Child health checks and mental health

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia—Australian Greens Whip) (11:50):  The Greens have concerns with schedule 2 of this bill. This is the schedule that makes a payment for a child turning four contingent on that child having a health check, but the measure applies only to families where either parent has received income support for any part of that year. I have concerns about this part of the bill. 

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Government picks up Green mental health initiatives

A number of key mental health initiatives instigated by the Australian Greens have been included in the Federal Government’s new mental health spend.

“The Greens took a comprehensive mental health plan to the last election, an approach which was not adopted at the time by the Government or Coalition. So to have this comprehensive package on the table is a very positive development for the sector,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens health spokesperson said after tonight’s budget announcement.

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Abbott’s mental health plan contradictory

Mr Abbott needs to decide whether he is going to be tough on welfare recipients or take a genuine caring approach the Australian Greens said today.

The Australian Greens have questioned the Coalition’s mental health policy, saying newly announced measures are clearly at odds with their intended welfare reforms. Just a couple of weeks ago we had Mr Abbott saying we need to get tough on those on welfare, some of the very same people he is championing this week in his mental health plan.

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