Kimberley self-harm rate a crisis: WA govt?eastern ment

More than half of the funding will go to the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council to develop community action plans to try to suicide-proof communKimberley self-harm rate a crisis: WA govt?eastern mentities.

On her visit to Broome, Ms Morton said she had become deeply saddened by the tragedies and had taken a personal eastern mental healthinterest in improving strategies to prevent suicide in the region.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263).

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A 19-year-old man has made a video-link court appearance over the murder and aggravated ual assault of a woman whose body was found inside a suitcase.

Counselling provider Kinways Broome co-ordinator Zoe Evans said the Kimberley region had experienced a higher than usual rate of not only suicides but suicide attempts.

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In light of the recent suicides, the government has st-tracked its suicide prevention strategy and it will direct $1.36 million into the Kimberley to pay for an additional 11 counselling staff.

The high rate of people taking their own lives in the Kimberley has been labelled a crisis by West Australian Mental Health Minister Helen Morton, prompting funding for self-harm prevention to be st-tracked.

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Ms Ravlich urged the government to substantially increase resources allocated to address suicide prevention.

Kimberley self-harm rate a crisis: WA govt?eastern ment,Last month Ms Morton told parliament 11 people in the East and West Kimberley had taken their own lives in recent months.

Theres no doubt this is just too little, too late. It shouldnt take the deaths of 11 individuals over a number of month to get her to finally take some action, Ms Ravlich told AAP.

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As part of the $13 million suicide prevention strategy, the government aims to establish 50 community action plans across WA by mid-2012.

However, the government has come under attack by the opposition mental health spokeswoman Ljiljanna Ravlich who said the funding, which is part of a state-wide $13 million program, had come too late.

The plans aim is to increase the training, skills and capacity of local communities to recognise people at risk of suicide, to help prevent suicide and reduce harm, Ms Morton said.

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Its certainly a really challenging time for everybody in the Kimberley at the moment, weve had a higher than usual rate of suicides and seen quite an increase in suicide attempts across the whole region, Ms Evans told AAP.

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The plans need to be backed up by substantial increases in resources in service delivery because the plans dont actually fix people, they dont actually help people to recover from an episode, she said.

I want to personally thank the many people who have been supporting the milies during the crisis by providing services for mental health and social and emotional well-being, she said on Friday.

From an agency point of view, all agencies are working pretty much over and above what the usual capacity is.

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