Minister for Mental Health Pru Goward and I will mark R U OK? Day on 8 September 2016 by challenging people ‘Who will you ask?’

“Research shows that a large percentage of people at risk of suicide and self-harm have had no contact with traditional health services.” Ms Goward said. “That’s why it’s so important we believe in the power of a conversation, whether it’s with a friend, family member, or someone else.”

Suicide and attempted suicide are human tragedies that can affect anyone. However we know that suicide prevention begins at the community level. We’re stronger together- so take time to have a meaningful conversation with someone this “R U OK?” Day

I encourage the community to visit www.ruok.org.au for more information and ways to get involved.

“R U OK?” Day coincides with NSW Government announcing the opening of expressions of interest for an $8 million suicide prevention fund to run over the next four years. I’m encouraging non-government organisations (NGOs) in the Heathcote Electorate to apply for the contestable fund which encourages local and scalable suicide prevention initiatives across a range of points in the system, from early intervention through to crisis care.

I would encourage NGOs who already provide invaluable and crucial support to our community to apply for this new dedicated suicide prevention funding to find new, local ways to help people in need in our community.

This funding is just one example of the NSW Government’s commitment to preventing suicide and providing support to improve people’s mental health.

For more information please visit: https://tenders.nsw.gov.au/health/  following the 8 September

If you or someone else need help, please contact Lifeline (13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au) or contact the Kids Helpline (1800 551 800 or www.kidshelpline.com.au)/