Suicide prevention: Local working group formed

Following the recent Council resolution regarding the health and well-being of the Kiama community (reported in our previous issue), a local working group has been formed to focus on coordinating suicide prevention efforts within our community.

The local working group will meet regularly and build on the collective experience of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative, a group of 40 organisations and community groups working together to reduce suicide deaths and attempts in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region over the last five years.

With an emphasis on incorporating the voice of people with lived experience of suicide and recovery, the Collaborative aims to:

  • improve the supports available to people at risk of suicide as well as improving people’s experience of those supports
  • encourage systems change through collaboration
  • ensuring that suicide prevention efforts are effective.

An initial meeting, organised by the Collaborative and Council, brought together representatives from Kiama High School, Gezza Cares, Makuta Masks, headspace, Kiama Lions Club, Kiama Rotary Club, the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Lifeline and Council.

“Each group was able to outline and share activities they are undertaking, or planning, in order to respond to current community issues and concerns,” says Linda Livingstone, of the Collaborative.

Kiama High School told of webinars being offered to parents in partnership with headspace, as well as increased support for students and for staff during this difficult time.

Gezza Cares spoke of its work coordinating community responses in Gerringong and in promoting Question Persuade Refer (QPR) training (see page 14 for info on it and ways of getting involved with R U OK Day).

Council and the Local Health District spoke of working together to facilitate community skills training, information and support at the Farmers’ Market, and through a community mural.

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