News • 07 Jun 2024

Open Minds receives funding to provide suicide response program in North Queensland

Open Minds is delighted to announce they will now be providing suicide prevention response to the North Queensland region, thanks to funding from the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN).

This service will work collaboratively with 16 other providers, to deliver the redesigned mental health stepped care service model across the greater Cairns, Townsville, and Mackay regions, including rural areas of North Queensland, starting from 1 July 2024.

Open Minds will focus on supporting people experiencing distress by delivering a suicide prevention response service that offers additional support for individuals experiencing crisis. This funding comes at a crucial time when mental health services are needed more than ever.

Open Minds CEO Kate Johnson expressed her enthusiasm for the opportunity to provide essential support to the region.

“The causes of suicide are multidimensional, and its prevention is complex. Factors such as the current socio-economic climate, housing uncertainty, unemployment, changes in access to physical and mental health services, contribute significantly to mental health challenges.”

“We know that people living in regional and remote locations are more vulnerable, reporting higher levels of psychological distress. In Queensland, 45% of suicide deaths were from people living in remote and regional communities, with 518 lives lost to suicide in the Far North Queensland region between 2018 and 2022.”

“We are committed to making a positive impact and providing the necessary care and support to those who need it most,” Kate said.

Open Minds is an independent not-for-profit organisation committed to enabling an independent and positive future for people living in the community with mental health needs. With a history spanning over 110 years, Open Minds originally began by providing support to returned World War I veterans.

NQPHN, has led the redesign of the mental health stepped care services, initiated in 2022, in collaboration with service providers and the community across the regions.

Through a comprehensive community consultation and codesign process, the updated stepped care model aims to improve access, integration, and transitions of care.

If anything outlined in the article has caused you distress, you can contact the following organisations for immediate support;

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

Mental Health Support Line: 1300 642 255

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978

13YARN: 13 92 76

For more information on mental health resources, visit NQPHN Mental Health Resources.

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