News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Targeted Action Can Prevent Suicide Increases

A forecasted surge in suicide rates due to the impacts of COVID-19, its associated restrictions and their secondary social, economic and personal consequences is not inevitable according to the President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Associate Professor John Allan.

‘We know the pandemic is giving rise to anxiety and distress and will continue to have many unintended and far-reaching impacts on psychological wellbeing through loss and trauma, social isolation, alcohol and substance use, economic and personal financial stress, and family breakdown and violence.

‘It is clear that we are facing uncertain times with respect to suicide – the mix of these factors creates a perfect storm for a potential increase in suicides, especially for vulnerable members of our community such as young people and Māori.

‘But this does not have to be the case, just as we’ve seen successful action taken by governments to suppress the spread of the virus, there are choices available to decision makers which will effectively reduce the rates of suicide.

‘Telehealth has shown us, for example, that we can fundamentally alter the way a health system operates to provide consultations in a wider range of circumstances; across more of the country and to meet the needs of a greater number of people, many of whom have not previously had access to mental health services.’

The RANZCP President emphasised that implementing evidence-based interventions can protect the mental health of the population through the pandemic and the economic consequences of these events, and noted the important role of psychiatrists in an all-of-community approach to preventing suicide.

‘Suicide prevention requires a comprehensive approach that spans systems, organisations and environments, combining intervention and support.

‘This should include efforts to systematically reduce societal inequalities, and target the population groups that are adversely affected by the secondary economic and social impacts of COVID-19.

‘Suicide is a complex issue, but decisive, research-informed and targeted government action in the right places does make a difference, just as we have seen with actions taken to contain the spread of the virus.

‘Psychiatrists have a deep understanding of suicide and its causes and are well positioned to ensure the design and implementation of policy, programs, training and services targeting suicidal ideation and behaviour will work, and will have measurable community benefits.

‘Timely and effective support for people with mental illness is an integral element of suicide prevention, for example crisis mental health care should be easily accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days a week for everyone in need.

‘It is also necessary that training of frontline health and community workers include suicide prevention strategies and competencies relating to mental health and suicide.

The RANZCP acknowledges that the Office of Suicide Prevention is alert to the seriousness of this issue and we look forward to working together on suicide prevention strategies and service planning efforts to reduce suicide.

For all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland