A new strategy to help prevent suicide across the Tweed-Byron region was launched in Tweed Heads yesterday.
With the latest statistics showing that Northern NSW had the second highest rate of suicide in regional NSW, action is urgently needed.
The suicide prevention action plan involves introducing a range of educational programs and other activities aimed at helping people to recognise that someone might be in severe mental distress.
Involving cooperation between a range of different government and community-based organisations, the plan has five key priorities.
- strengthening early intervention through schools and community
- improving crisis and aftercare support
- strengthening the capacity of GPs, frontline workers and professionals
- developing local strategies to identify and help those most at risk in the Tweed Aboriginal communities
- training the community to recognise and respond to those at risk of suicide
‘It will be an important step in educating people to recognise the signs that someone might be in severe mental distress and to build resilience in those with lived experience of suicide,’ the chief executive of the North Coast Primary Health Network, Julie Sturgess said.
Project Worker Carmen Stewart said the Action Plan took a broad, evidence-based approach to suicide prevention.
‘The five priority areas within the Action Plan collectively provide a breadth of focus from early intervention in schools through to strengthening support for individuals after a suicide attempt,’ Ms Stewart said.
‘We have secured good support in the Tweed and Byron Shires and invite any residents, clubs or organisations wishing to contribute to suicide prevention, to get in touch.’
For more information, contact Carmen Stewart, Suicide Prevention Project Worker at The Family Centre.