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.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
This submission has been made available with support from the Diverse Communities grant program.
Finalised: September 2022
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.
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.