Suicide Prevention and Response paper 

Deaf Victoria’s submission to the Discussion paper: suicide prevention and response strategy

Prepared by: Philip Waters, General Manager, Deaf Victoria and Jasmine Shirrefs, Deaf Mental Health Policy Officer, Deaf Victoria.

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This submission has been made available with support from the Diverse Communities grant program.

Words: 3560

Pages: 11

Finalised: September 2022

View and download the paper in Word document.

View and download the paper in PDF.


Discussion: Suicide prevention and response strategy


Deaf Victoria supports the vision of zero suicides, as outlined in the Suicide prevention and response strategy.


Deaf Victoria supports the principles of the response strategy and has grounded their recommendations for initiatives within these principles.

Priority Areas

Workforce and community capabilities and responses

The current suicide prevention and response workforces have significant issues with capability to respond to the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people with regards the necessitated cultural competency and Auslan language skillsets.

Lived experience partnerships

We believe that a codesigned and collaborative partnership with deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people will lead to the delivery of more accessible suicide prevention and response initiatives and actions for this diverse community.

Whole-of-government leadership, accountability and collaboration

Deaf Victoria believes that deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing populations are currently under-resourced across many areas of government-funded services. We believe that adequately addressing equitable access to Auslan-language social services will contribute to lessening compounding risk of suicide, i.e., unemployment/underemployment and deafness.

Data and evidence to drive outcomes

There is less data on deaf and hard of hearing persons unique experience of suicidality, recognising barriers to completing mainstream data collection modes such as phone interviews about primary health and trouble accessing the census in Auslan. While we can access qualitative data about the experiences of deaf and hard of hearing people and offer recommendations based on their lived experience of using suicide prevention services or the general mental health system.