Chief Psychiatrist

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (14:35):  Supplementary: given that Dr Groves and his immediate predecessor in the role of Chief Psychiatrist, Dr Peter Tyllis, both showed a strong focus on the suicide prevention aspects of their role, will the minister ensure that the permanent replacement—in whatever mode that is—has a similar emphasis on the rollout of suicide prevention networks and postvention?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Health, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse) (14:35):  I thank the honourable member for his question and again take the opportunity to acknowledge his advocacy in regard to suicide prevention generally. One of the things that jumped out at me in the incoming briefs that one has access to in this position—and there are a number of things that jumped out at me—was suicide numbers. I have to say that, when I read those numbers, they were a lot larger than I expected. In fact, I had advice that the number of people who die in South Australia as a result of suicide exceeds the road toll, particularly for young people. That is a big number. I think it is an area that deserves more and more attention, and in that context I again acknowledge Mr Dawkins' contribution in that regard.

For those reasons and many others, it is, of course, absolutely critical that people in roles like the Chief Psychiatrist are doing everything they can around suicide prevention. Of course, it is my expectation that whoever is fortunate enough to take on the responsibility of being the new Chief Psychiatrist does everything they can with regard to suicide prevention networks.