New funding for suicide prevention training across the North Coast

The Assistant Minister for Health Dr David Gillespie and North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) have announced new funding for suicide prevention training across the North Coast.

NCPHN is providing $110,648 to funding recipients Wesley Mission to deliver Wesley LifeForce suicide prevention training. This training program is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the PHN Program.

Tony Cassidy, Group Manager Wesley LifeForce; Hayley Hoskins, Baylin Hoskins Foundation; Dr Megan Lawrance, North Coast PHN Director, Mental Health Reform and Integration; Dr David Gillespie, Federal Member for Lyne; Dr Vahid Saberi, CEO North Coast PHN

Wesley LifeForce training is evidence-based and designed for gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are community members who are well positioned to recognise a crisis and the warning signs of suicide risk and respond appropriately. It includes a series of North Coast workshops, seminars and online forums which will run over the next 12 months.

“This training is part of our Government’s larger commitment to mental health, suicide prevention, and alcohol and other drugs in this region. The North Coast has been given more than $100,000 to help identify and address the needs of the local communities,” said Dr Gillespie.

This training is one of several key programs adopted on the North Coast as part of implementing the Lifespan approach to address high suicide rates in our region.

Over 280 people, the bulk of whom will be community members, as well as GPs, practice nurses, reception staff and regional frontline workers will receive training.

The training aims to improve understanding of suicide, increase the participant’s ability to identify suicide behaviours and intervene in the best possible way. The training locations selected will be done in collaboration with the community and the health sector to ensure maximum reach and delivery to regions of highest need.

NCPHN’s Director Mental Health Reform & Integration, Dr Megan Lawrance, said that the Wesley LifeForce training offered a range of modules that met the needs of our community.

“LifeForce has a proven track record in enhancing the capacity of individual community members, including clinical and non-clinical professionals, to deliver suicide prevention interventions and assist people to engage with suicide prevention services,” said Dr Lawrance.

Wesley Mission CEO the Rev Dr Keith Garner said since 1996 Wesley LifeForce training had been delivered to more than 30,000 people across Australia.

“The program includes educating people about suicide, challenging attitudes and teaching basic engagement skills,” Dr Garner said.

“We work with local communities helping them to find local solutions to one of Australia’s most pressing problems. We are looking forward to supporting the North Coast with this important program.”

Note to reporters: It’s recommended that when reporting on suicide or issues of mental illness you follow the MindFrame guidelines. MindFrame is a media initiative funded by the Australian Government. Go to: http://www.mindframe-media.info/

For more information about this release, contact Dr Megan Lawrance, NCPHN Director Mental Health Reform & Integration on 0428 802 148 or Mr Graeme Cole, Public Affairs Manager, Wesley Mission on 0408 470 722.

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