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New mapping system launched to track suicide hotspots

Australia, October 10, 2014: Monash University has unveiled a first-of-its kind mapping system that will pinpoint areas of high male suicide.

The unique mapping system will also gather ambulance data from self-harm incidents to track patients and victims as they check through the health system.

It will collect data from paramedics relating to male mental health incidents for three years from 2015, but will not incorporate any personal information.

Incident mapping of panic attacks, suicide attempts, overdoses and other callouts from people experiencing a mental health issues will clearly show where and when such events trigger.

The mapping consolidates on a pilot program and will be carried out in all states and territories except for West Australia, which is still in negotiations.

Developed at the Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre of the University, the new mapping system has been funded by men's health initiative the Movember Foundation and the mental health charity ‘beyondblue’.

Professor Dan Lubman, Director of the Centre said that the project focused on men because they sought help less often than women but were three times more likely to die by suicide. This is the only program of its kind in the world and will have enormous benefits, he added.

Source: SMH