Suicide prevention

Suicide prevention

Murray PHN has partnered with the Victorian Government to develop and deliver place-based suicide prevention strategies in Mildura and Benalla – two of 12 sites where the state government is trialing this initiative. It forms part of the Victorian suicide prevention framework 2016-2025 that aims to halve the state’s suicide rate by 2025.  

Project officers are working in Mildura and Benalla to coordinate strategies that address local priorities, engaging and consulting with community, looking at data and using an evidence-base as a foundation for decision-making.

Benalla activity highlights

  • Established Community Campaign Taskforce and working to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Taskforce
  • 32 community members and 60 parents and carers trained in Mental Health First Aid
  • 29 people from local football team and the University of the Third Age attended a suicide bereavement awareness workshop
  • 109 local tradespeople attended a talk from HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies)
  • 78 volunteers attended safeTALK training, to better identify when someone may be struggling, by listening to what they say and what they do
  • School-based program Live4Life was successfully piloted in Benalla during 2017 and will continue operating with funding from this project for a further 12 months
  • Year 8 and 11 students across Benalla have been trained in Teen Mental Health First Aid
  • ‘Pathways to Care’ workshop was delivered to local health care providers to improve the confidence of frontline workers to deal with suicidal crisis.

Mildura activity highlights

  • Established a project steering committee
  • Steering committee members and 50 community leaders, completed Leadership in Complex Systems training to build their understanding of systems and how to create system change
  • 75 people attended a suicide bereavement awareness workshop
  • 12 people with lived experienced of suicidality explored their lived experience to identify ways in which they can help others
  • 102 people who are likely to come into contact with at-risk individuals, attended one of four targeted gatekeeper training sessions to learn influencing skills
  • Participating in activities such as ‘R U OK’ day, World Suicide Prevention Day and The Great Vanilla Slice Triumph
  • This project is funding a La Trobe and Monash University research project to identify ways for improving emergency and follow-up care for suicidal crisis within the Mildura local government area
  • GPs and Practice Nurses attended training in suicide prevention

Inside Mildura's place-based suicide prevention trial at Murray PHN

This video shows some of the great work being done in Mildura as part of the suicide prevention trial to improve local responses to suicide and lay the groundwork for future suicide prevention efforts state-wide.


In August 2018 Murray PHN convened a round table discussion, in conjunction with headspace national office, to enable a more effective response to the issue of youth suicide and self-harm in Wangaratta.  The roundtable included participants from health, education, police, ambulance and local government along with other key support agencies in the region. The discussion identified mechanisms to better collate and link data, initiate and coordinate effective responses and provide additional coordination resources to strengthen prevention and education support.  As a result of these discussions, Murray PHN and the regional office of the Department of Health and Human Services are working together to replicate notification thresholds and coordination protocols between different agencies across regional areas.     

In December 2018, the Federal Government announced $2.7 million funding towards mental health services in Wangaratta. The funding allocation includes $1.5 million for the creation of a new headspace satellite program, and $1.2 million for The Grit and Resilience project, which was developed in Wangaratta with Melbourne University.

Mt Alexander

Murray PHN has also funded the Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership to develop a local, evidence-based, integrated suicide prevention action plan in Mount Alexander with the aim of reducing suicides, suicide attempts and to improve community capacity to look after themselves and others.  

Some of the outcomes of the project include:    

  • Training a local team of four safeTALK suicide prevention trainers to be able to deliver training in a flexible, affordable way
  • Suicide prevention training delivered to 75 per cent of GPs in Mount Alexander 
  • Two members of Mount Alexander Every Life Matters (ELM) community suicide prevention network trained in safeTALK, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and Mental Health First Aid. They are now able to offer organisational training suicide prevention packages tailored to different needs and capacities of different staff
  • Engagement and relationships built with services providers, frontline and gatekeeper agencies and the community
  • The reconvening of the Mount Alexander Suicide Response Group. 


Postvention is the coordination of events during the aftermath of a suicide, with a dual focus on bereavement support and suicide prevention among the bereaved and within the wider impacted community. Click here for more information on postvention.





  • Mindframe | Resources for media and communications professionals, suicide prevention and mental health workers, on how to portray and communicate about suicide, mental ill-health, alcohol and other drugs, including in the media.
  • Strength of the collective and the power of place | Overview of the Victorian place-based approach to suicide prevention
  • Don't let suicide kill you: nine stories of survival and recovery | available by emailing
  • Public Health England | Identifying and responding to suicide clusters: A practice resource

Support services

  • Ambulance (000) If you need urgent help, please call triple zero.
  • Head to Health supports all Victorians and people living in border communities with clinical advice, referral and wraparound care. Call 1800 595 212.
  • Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.
  • Beyond Blue provides 24/7 support via phone as well as support online, via email or online forums. Call 1300 224 636.
  • Suicide Call Back Service provides 24/7 support if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal. Call 1300 659 467.
  • headtohealth is an online gateway funded by the Australian Government that can help you find free and low-cost, trusted phone and online mental health resources.

Murray PHN acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government

Page last updated 2 June 2022