YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: After many years of advocacy in the mental heath field it has been a privilege to be appointed the Premier's Advocate for Suicide Prevention. Unfortunately, over the long period I have worked in that area I have seen the devastating impact suicide and attempted suicide can have on families and loved ones, and it is particularly tragic when it involves a young person. Will the minister update the council on youth suicide prevention initiatives?

The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (15:14): I thank the honourable member for his question and for his hard work in this field over a long period of time. I know that his work has made a difference in the number of community-based suicide prevention groups, and in the sector more broadly.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people aged between 15 and 24 and results in the greatest number of years of potential life lost. Just last month, I had the pleasure of addressing a youth suicide prevention summit held here in South Australia, attended also by His Excellency Hieu Van Le, the Governor of South Australia, the honourable member himself and representatives from across the sector.

The summit was an important opportunity to hear from young people from all walks of life with a lived experience of suicide and experts and other informants in the field of youth suicide prevention. Suicide prevention for young people is not just about reducing access to means, it is about dealing with youth distress and enabling young people to find support wherever and whenever they experience distress.

Young people take cues about how to seek help from their friends, their families, their sports coaches, their community activity leaders, their teachers and others. Youth suicide prevention is everybody's business, and we need to have a community-wide capability to respond to distress. The Marshall Liberal government is committed to developing community-wide capability.

The Premier has established the Premier's Council on Suicide Prevention, chaired by the Hon. John Dawkins, the Premier's Advocate for Suicide Prevention, and has also established the issues group on suicide prevention chaired by the member for Waite. The government took these steps to ensure that suicide prevention is on the agenda for every government department and the wider community, and to enable our work to be informed by both the evidence and the views of the South Australian community, including young people.

This action also supports the South Australian Suicide Prevention Plan 2017-2021, which identifies three key actions for preventing suicide: firstly, making people our priority; secondly, empowering communities; and thirdly, translating the evidence into practice. A key strategy being undertaken from the South Australian Suicide Prevention Plan is the development of communitybased suicide prevention networks. To date, 29 networks have been established. Each network will develop locally relevant activities to support the outcomes of the state plan. Many of these networks have established youth-specific activities.

I would like to draw the council's attention in particular to the work of the South-East based Treasuring Life Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Network, which runs youth camps for young Aboriginal boys and men, encouraging leadership and connection to country and culture. In this respect, I welcome the Morrison Liberal government's commitment of $5 million over four years for Indigenous youth suicide prevention, with programs to be led by Indigenous youth leaders to ensure that they are culturally appropriate.

Additionally, the state government is supporting suicide prevention initiatives through the South Australian Suicide Prevention Community Grants Scheme. Applications have just closed for grants up to the value of $10,000, and I look forward to seeing the projects that will come from these grants. I thank everybody who contributed to the summit and all those who are involved in the statewide effort to prevent suicides in South Australia.