Generation Zero Suicide (GenZs)

‘We hold onto hope for young people and help them to find it again within themselves.’

In Queensland, more young people aged 15 to 24 years die by suicide than by any other means. Nationally, suicide accounts for a third of all deaths in this age group.

As a recognised leader in paediatric healthcare, education and research, Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ) has a vital role to play in leading the state in suicide prevention initiatives targeting children and young people within healthcare. The Generation Zero Suicide (GenZs) Initiative is led by CHQ’s Child and Youth Mental Health Services (CYMHS) and contributes to the Department of Health’s Suicide Prevention in Healthcare Multisite Collaborative as part of the Suicide Prevention in Health Services Initiative. The Collaborative involves several hospital and health services throughout Queensland working together to effect change based on the Zero Suicide in Healthcare Approach.

The GenZs Initiative is driven by the aspirational view of a future where no child or young person accessing healthcare dies by suicide. By working towards this aspiration in a committed, systemic, and sustained manner, we believe that many, and perhaps most, suicides among young people in healthcare can be prevented.

This initiative represents a commitment to patient safety, as well as the safety and support of our workforce, who treat and support children and young people who are suicidal.

Our aim

The GenZs Initiative uses co-design to listen to and learn from the voice of people affected by suicide the most, young people, their families and front-line health staff. The GenZs Initiative uses the momentum from the Collaborative in establishing an integrated suicide prevention strategy within CYMHS CHQ and is supporting other CYMHS service across Queensland to do the same.

The aim of the initiative is to develop and implement a systems-wide approach to suicide prevention, with key areas including:

  • leadership instilling the belief that suicide can be prevented in young people in healthcare settings
  • high quality training to ensure all staff are using the current evidence-based assessments and treatment planning
  • embedding a clinical pathway of care that identifies those at risk and increased consistency across the service
  • interventions that directly target suicidality
  • safer transitions of care within CYMHS and outside of the service
  • embedding this within a continuous quality improvement framework, and
  • developed within a learning and restorative just culture.

The initiative is not

Generation Zero Suicide (GenZs) Initiative is not a zero-tolerance approach, as there is already a significant burden felt by the healthcare workforce in relation to suicide. Furthermore, it does not mean that young people who die by suicide are ‘bad’ or that we do not already do everything within our power to prevent death by suicide. The GenZs Initiative is a bold, uncompromising mindset shift from, ‘no one can do anything to stop all suicides’, to ‘everyone can do something to prevent suicides’. It is a commitment to this aspirational goal and to providing meaningful evidence-based system-wide supports to our workforce for them to safe guard the current and future generations.

Contact us

Contact the CHQ GenZs Initiative team for more information or to find out how you can become involved in this important work by emailing CHQ-CYMHS-ZeroSuicide or phone on 07 3310 9444.