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Suicide Prevention Networks work together to ensure lives are not lost to suicide

19 December 2017

‘One suicide is too many’ states Lynne James, Principle Project Officer Suicide Prevention for the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist at the recent meeting in Millicent to establish a Wattle Range Suicide Prevention Network.

On Monday, 13 November 2017 an initial meeting was held to establish a Wattle Range Suicide Prevention Network similar to the networks established in Mount Gambier and 26 other local government areas of South Australia.

Dave Thompson, Senior Project Officer and Lynne James, Principle Project Officer Suicide Prevention from the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist presented informative material about establishing a network, while Eve Barratt, CEO Lifeline spoke about the Mount Gambier Suicide Prevention Network which was the first Network established in South Australia back in 2011. Council will assist to establish a network.

Dr Brian McKenny Interim Chief Psychiatrist said that his office “guides the Networks development, facilitates the action planning and provides support to the established Networks. Each Network receives $5,000 to start the activities on their Action Plan.”

“South Australia's country rate is reducing compared to the national country rate. South Australia is unique that the country and metro rate are similar whereas the other states are quite different, which has been largely attributed to the establishment of Networks across South Australia which is the only state in the nation to establish such networks” stated Ms James in her presentation.

A Suicide Prevention Community Network is a group of people who share a concern for the people in their community and will to do simple things to prevent suicide in their community through:
- Starting life-saving conversations
- breaking down stigma
- increasing connectedness
- bringing education and training to the community
- linking community members to the services available
- bringing coordination to efforts that might already be occurring
- fostering community health and wellbeing.
Many networks have a core group of 8-10 members with a mail out to around 80-100 members.

The initial meeting was well attend with representation from SAPOL, Millicent Hospital, Headspace, Stand By Response, Life Line, Millicent & Surrounds Health Support Group, Limestone Coast Grief & Trauma. The meeting provided an opportunity for attendees to network and build synergies to strengthen our community.

Council will be looking to further assist the establishment of a Wattle Range Suicide Prevention Network with a public meeting to be held from 6 to 7.30pm on Wednesday, January 31 in the Millicent Civic & Arts Centre Supper Room.

Wattle Range Council Mayor Peter Gandolfi encouraged those interested to join the conversation. “The Network will be an important tool for professionals to ensure that people in our community are adequately armed with the information needed to start conversations, recognise issues and signs that individuals may be facing a hard time and to be able to reach out to their mates” Mr Gandolfi said.

WR Suicide Prevention Network

Pictured: Ben Gower (CEO, Wattle Range Council), Lynne James (Principle Project Officer Suicide Prevention, Office of the Chief Psychiatrist), Mayor Peter Gandolfi (Wattle Range Council) and Dave Thompson (Senior Project Officer, Office of the Chief Psychiatrist)

 

 

For further information please contact:

Peter Gandolfi, Mayor
Email:                       pjg@wattlerange.sa.gov.au
Telephone:               (08) 8733 0900 or 0419 155 447

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