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Government calls an emergency mental health summit

Photo: Summit to focus on suicide prevention
Mental health groups are meeting in Canberra to tackle suicide prevention following an alarming jump in Australians taking their own lives.

An alarming spike in the number of Australians taking their own lives last year has prompted the government to call an emergency mental health summit.

More than 3000 people died as a result of suicide in 2017 - a 9.1 per cent increase from a year earlier.

Due to a large drop in 2016, the 3128 figure is still less than it was three years ago, but Health Minister Greg Hunt says the "deeply concerning" numbers forced him to act.

"Suicide is a national tragedy and one life lost to suicide is one too many," Mr Hunt said.
"I will be asking the summit participants to work together to produce a statement of general principles around the best way to prevent suicide at a national level."

Mr Hunt will host the summit, along with National Mental Health Commission chair Lucy Brogden.

"What has been lacking ... is a broad consensus from the mental health and suicide prevention sector about where the government should be focusing its efforts and investments," Ms Brogden said.

Representatives from Lifeline, Beyond Blue, Everymind, Black Dog Institute and Orygen will attend the summit at Parliament House on Monday.

The event will consider the progress achieved through the fifth national mental and suicide prevention plan.

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

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