A RESEARCHER and her team from the University of New England have submitted a groundbreaking report which will help inform the federal government's suicide prevention policy.
Professor Myfanwy Maple is the only expert from a regional university to be appointed to a panel advising the national suicide prevention advisor Christine Morgan, and has spent the past couple of months forming a report.
The team from the UNE handed their research to Ms Morgan, who will now draw on it to create an interim report, to present to prime minister Scott Morrison at the end of July.
Professor Maple said it's been humbling to work on the project.
"Suicide does disproportionately affect regional communities so being able to bring that view and remind people who live in metropolitan areas that our experience in the country is very different ... there are groups in regional communities that do need priority attention," she told the Leader.
"My work is as the conduit, if you like, between people who may not have a voice at the table and being able to interpret that voice in a way that policy makers and the media and other researchers can use."
Professor Maple has a social work background spanning decades, and wanted to focus on the lived experience of people who had lived through mental health struggles or cared for people who had.
"If we're really going to be able to have success in preventing suicide, we really need to look at those much broader issues ... it's very much about human rights and social justice," she said.
If you or anyone you know is struggling, call the NSW Mental Health Line, 1800 011 511 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.