Combatting the western NSW region's "wicked" suicide problem was the goal for the Western NSW Primary Health Network's suicide prevention forum on Tuesday.
Western NSW PHN acting chief executive officer Robert Strickland said suicide in the Central West was worse than in the rest of NSW.
"We've got higher risk factors out here and therefore it shows in the figures in the number of people who are officially suicidal," he said.
The western NSW health network covers a wide area from Broken Hill to Bathurst.
Minister for Regional Health, Mark Coulton was the first to speak at the forum followed by Mr Strickland.
Mr Strickland said they brought in the best speakers they could to highlight issues of importance.
"One of the things we are currently doing is we are asking different players to give us proposals on how they can deal with the issue within our region," he said.
"One of the points [I made at the forum was] that for NSW, speaking generally, there was something like 950 odd people in 2019 who officially died from suicide, that is three times the number than those who died from car accidents," he said.
"You've got 3,000-plus a year dying from suicide across Australia and we are over-represented in that within our region.
"It is a major problem that has a real impact. Only five years ago one of the people I worked with died by suicide, nobody expected it, but it impacted the family, the workplace, everyone he had touched."
Mr Strickland said the Western Region Suicide Prevention Forum 2021 was held for community members from across the region.
It was attended so a range of people from stakeholders, clinicians, people from Aboriginal Health and health services and government agencies could meet with experts.
"We held [the forum] two years ago and would have done it last year if not for COVID-19," Mr Strickland said.
"We wanted to be able to keep doing this to bring focus to the issue. [Suicide] is a crisis that is getting no attention.
"It gives us an opportunity to talk about what been working on, we've got some programs on suicide prevention at the moment.
"Also, [the forum is held] to learn about the research and to hear about what the research has told us and what it's doing at the moment to find out more about it.
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"Those who have come to the forum will go away with a better understanding of the issues we are facing and how to better deal with them within their communities.
"It's about getting the organisations who are working with us to contribute, share ideas and try different things.
Mr Strickland said the WNSW PHN would look to host the forum again.
"This is not the end of it, the problem is a wicked problem and it hasn't gone away," he said.
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