In 2017, Sue Murray and Suicide Prevention Australia hosted the third Zero Suicide International summit February 27 – 28, 2017 in Sydney, in conjunction with the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) Exchange. Nearly 30 attendees of the 70 total represented healthcare and social sector leadership from “Down Under.”
Ms. Murray brought tremendous experience to her role from her prior leadership role with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Significant growth in the number of companies and individuals supporting this work enabled the NBCF to publish Australia’s first ever National Action Plan for Breast Cancer Research and Funding which has changed the way breast cancer research is supported and managed in Australia.
Suicide is a leading cause of premature death within Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported 3,027 deaths by suicide in 2015 – 20% of premature deaths across the nation, and the highest single contributor to ‘potential years of life’ lost in the country.
Ms. Murray presented the business case for Zero Suicide in Healthcare at the Sydney summit, summarized below.
Zero Suicide Business Case Australia
Roll out a Zero Suicide pilot program at selected sites across Australia.
- Target a 50% reduction in suicide within five years;
- Adapt and calibrate Zero Suicide to the Australian healthcare system;
- Build momentum towards the cultural shift that suicide is preventable; and
- Strive towards the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) by evaluating, revising and continuously improving the Zero Suicide roll out methodology and operating framework.
- Hospital network across 3 sites (hospitals with emergency departments); 15,000 staff;
locality covering 1,000,000 people
- Require $11.5 million in funding over a 5 year period, or the equivalent of $3.8 million
- Accounting for the economic impact of suicide, this pilot is projected to save an estimated 12 lives annually by 2025, and is expected to achieve a benefit cost ratio (‘BCR’) of 13
The Benefit nationally
A national roll out of Zero Suicide has the reasonable expectation to save approximately 520 lives per year by 2025 and reduce the national economic impact of suicide by an estimated $2.7 billion a year