Millions spent yet suicide rates still a ‘tragedy’

Mr Butler joined Health Minister Tanya Plibersek in Sydney recently to launch two new research centres aimed at curbing rates of suicide, mental health problems and substance abuse.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention bring together Australian and international researchers and medical practitioners.

Ms Plibersek said the launch acknowledged thousands of Australians with substance abuse problems and poor mental health had “fallen through the gaps” because health, housing and service providers were ill-equipped to tackle two-pronged disorders.

“Their response unfortunately is often to close the doors, to throw up their hands and say, ‘This is too complicated for us’,” she said.

“Some of our most vulnerable, most difficult-to-serve Australians have