Media Release – World Suicide Prevention Day 2020

‘You Are Not Alone’

Postvention Australia Welcomes Increased Recognition of those Impacted by Suicide


The National Association for the Bereaved by Suicide today said it welcomed the increasing focus within governments and stakeholder groups of the critical need to elevate support and resources toward those left behind after losing a loved one to the tragedy of suicide.

Today marks World Suicide Prevention Day and while ‘prevention’ is vital, postvention, or post-suicide support, is no less significant to ensure the mental wellbeing of friends and family trying to cope with loss. Postvention in effect is prevention in that the bereaved are not only themselves at a higher risk of suicide after the loss, but require greater support during their grieving, which in some cases, can last from a few months to a lifetime.

The number of Australians affected by suicide is much higher than previously thought. Recent research indicates that for each suicide, up to 135 people on average are affected, from frontline responders to those with familial, social, community or workplace connections. This research has found that up to 440,000 Australians each year, which is nearly the population of Canberra, are suffering varying levels of mental, emotional, physical anguish and grief.

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is exacerbated by social distancing measures and limits on funeral attendance, which increases the isolation those impacted by suicide often already experience.

In response to the growing area of need, Postvention Australia is creating a coordinated raft of practical and innovative projects to address this often-overlooked area of suicide prevention and mental health.

While postvention was identified in the Commonwealth’s fifth Mental Health Plan some time ago, it is only now that this critical sector is receiving the recognition it so desperately needs to address the shortfalls in the sector.

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed or affected by suicide by phoning:

FURTHER: Mr Darrin Larney (Chair, PVA) on 1300 02 4357 or Mr Brad Farmer AM, (Executive Officer, PVA & Life Member, Suicide Prevention Australia) on 0413 031 870


Leave a Comment