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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Minister launches new suicide assessment tool

A new e-Learning tool to help reduce the suicide rate and the immeasurable impact of suicide on families has been launched today by Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson.

Senator Patterson said the Suicide Assessment and Intervention: Men at Risk e-Learning tool, would address the significant suicide risk factor for men following a relationship breakdown.

“I am increasingly saddened that some men feel they have no option than to take their own lives. I am confident the new e-Learning tool will improve the early identification and effectiveness of responses of these men at risk, ” Senator Patterson said.

“The CD Rom, developed by Crisis Support Services (CSS), targets professionals and provides a framework to respond effectively to men at risk of suicide.

“The Howard Government has responded to this risk by providing funding of over $60,000 for the development and distribution of the tool.

“Committed to improving outcomes for men and their families, in the 2005-06 Budget the Howard Government increased funding to Mensline Australia to $2.8 million annually.

“The Government also announced a comprehensive reform package of the family law system, including funding of $397.2 million over four years for a major expansion of services to assist families, as well as changes to the law and courts.

“This is further evidence of the Howard Government’s commitment to reduce the impact of family conflict on children and the emotional costs to families following a relationship breakdown,” Senator Patterson said.

As a longstanding community organisation, CSS also delivers the Government-funded telephone service, Mensline Australia, a relationship counselling and referral service where men are able to call 1300 78 99 78, for the cost of a local call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Further information on services provided by Mensline Australia can be found at Mensline Australia website