Finding the best local response

At its August Meeting, Kiama Council expressed, on behalf of the community, its concern about the number of people who have recently taken their own lives and its sympathy and support to the grieving families and friends.

In acknowledging it was a problem for our community, they agreed we need to face it and work towards a solution in order to prevent further tragedies.

After much discussion, it was agreed to seek the guidance and professional mental health advice of the Primary Health Network and the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative in encouraging our community to develop its own strategy and ongoing plan for suicide prevention in Kiama.

The Collaborative was established in 2015 to tackle the region’s high rates of suicide.

It consists of representatives from more than 40 significant organisations across health, education, community, local media, police, ambulance, employment agencies, Aboriginal organisations, local councils, and transport, as well as lived experience advocates.

Kiama Council is already a member of the Collaborative and involved in its work. This includes working directly with government agencies and support networks.

“The advice and support of these bodies will assist Council in developing a community response that is focused on Kiama,” said the motion passed.

Council will also advocate for additional funding from the State and Federal Governments to increase the services offered by Kiama Sentral Youth Service, to enable outreach services to operate in Werri Beach, Jones Beach and Jamberoo.

“My belief is the solution for this is within the community,” says Mayor Mark Honey.

Find out about the work of the Collaborative at www.suicidepreventioncollaborative.org.au

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