Lifeline Albury Wodonga welcomes NSW Government suicide monitoring system

SUPPORT: Albury Wodonga chief executive Matt Burke said up-to-date data will benefit local teams on the ground, but said they aren't quite sure how that will look.
SUPPORT: Albury Wodonga chief executive Matt Burke said up-to-date data will benefit local teams on the ground, but said they aren't quite sure how that will look.

Lifeline Albury Wodonga has welcomed the NSW Government's suicide monitoring system, but say it is just one step towards greater mental health support.

The system promises to provide up-to-date data for health and support services about the number of suicide deaths across the state.

Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor said the system will deliver the government timely access to information on location, age and gender.

"This means that from right now, we will be able to make critical decisions about services and local health responses in communities where we can effectively see risks emerging in real time instead of reacting to year-old data," Mrs Taylor said.

Lifeline Albury Wodonga chief executive Matt Burke said up-to-date data will benefit local teams on the ground, but said they aren't quite sure how that will look.

"We aren't quite sure what the system will actually mean for Lifeline Albury Wodonga, but it is definitely a step in the right direction," he said.

"Sadly there has been a six per cent increase in suicides already.

"The statistics are going the wrong way.

"COVID and the bushfires - it has not been very helpful for people's mental health."

Mr Burke said locally the demand has been "pretty hectic".

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"We have gone from one call every minute to one every 30 seconds," he said.

"The network is coping but only just. We can never get to all the calls unfortunately. But we are sitting at about 90 per cent call rate.

"Staff are putting in extra hours to keep up with demand right across Australia."

Lifeline Australia chairman John Brogden the system was a "significant step toward saving lives".

This story Suicide monitoring system just 'one step' towards better support first appeared on The Border Mail.