House debates

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Statements by Members

Mental Health

1:50 pm

Photo of Llew O'BrienLlew O'Brien (Wide Bay, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

In my first speech I highlighted the disturbing statistic that, on average, twice as many Australians take their own life as die on our national roads each year, and my electorate of Wide Bay has a higher-than-national-average of suicide. The fact that the biggest killer of men between the age of 15 and 44 is suicide is also a grim reminder of the size of this problem.

Talking about mental health and suicide prevention is needed, but practical tools to help people experiencing mental illness or thoughts of suicide are vitally important. Recently, I was encouraged to be made aware of a new mobile phone app called BeyondNow. The BeyondNow app was created by beyondblue, drawing on funding from Movember and the knowledge of an expert advisory panel of leading researchers and practitioners in the suicide prevention field.

The app helps people to create a safety plan, which is a structured plan that someone can create with their support network or health professionals when times are good. When needed, a person having suicidal thoughts or feelings can activate their safety plan via the BeyondNow app, making available personally-tailored strategies and contacts that could save their life.

I commend beyondblue for their work in producing this BeyondNow app and encourage people to access beyondblue's website to find out more.