House debates

Monday, 18 June 2018

Statements by Members

Johnson, Chief Inspector Steven 'Jonno'

1:37 pm

Photo of Ann SudmalisAnn Sudmalis (Gilmore, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

The obituary:

The Shoalhaven will be so much poorer for the loss of this incredible, community man—

'Jonno'—

Aged 47 years

…   …   …

In lieu of flowers donations can be made at the service for

Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Network

Shock rippled through our community for this incredible police officer, who'd organised fishing comps for at-risk Indigenous boys and helped everyone whenever they needed a hand. Steve—as I knew you—when we'd talked of ways to help our youth, I never knew the depth of your concern.

It makes us wonder if we're doing enough for mental health. Certainly a passionate and dedicated associate strongly believes that we are not, and his primary concerns I echo here. Recently he sent me a copy of the consultation survey re mental health and suicide produced for the Mental Health Commission. He said: 'The materials in the proposed strategy are essentially the same as have been delivered since 1997. Given that our suicide rates have risen in that time, I believe this strategy will also fail to save people's lives.' He often told me that 'the group most in need of suicide prevention support are adult men who are not mentally ill and who usually make one attempt and die'. Andrew is not a psychiatrist, or a 'shrink'; he links his clients to housing, to Centrelink, to legal advice about child support or financial help. When he sees them, they live. He's a male social worker with an agenda of keeping men at risk alive. Chief Inspector Steve Johnson, in your honour I will continue to work on this very different approach.

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