PM appoints new suicide prevention adviser

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has appointed a national suicide prevention officer.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has appointed a national suicide prevention officer.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to see a dramatic drop in the number of people who take their own lives and has appointed a new adviser to tackle the mental health issue.

Christine Morgan, who is the chief executive of the National Mental Health Commission, has been made Australia's national suicide prevention adviser.

"Suicide takes far too many Australians, devastating families and local communities," Mr Morrison said in a statement on Monday.

"One life lost to suicide is one too many, which is why my government is working towards a zero suicide goal."

Mr Morrison said about 80 per cent of people who took their own lives had mental health issues, although there was a range of factors and circumstances surrounding such deaths.

"That's why I am committed to taking all necessary action to tackle this issue, ensuring Australian families, communities and those facing challenges get the support they need," he said.

Ms Morgan was formerly the director of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration, a government-funded initiative.

She left her position as CEO of the Butterfly Foundation, which provides support for Australians with eating disorders, in March.

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Australian Associated Press