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Training and awareness key to suicide prevention

19th January 2018

Strong resilient communities that understand and speak about suicide will have the capacity to address the problem, according to Queensland’s Young Australian of the Year Philip Thompson.

As he heads to Canberra for the Australian of the Year Awards, Mr Thompson has a call to action for the Townsville community to become aware of the signs of an at risk individual.

“Suicide prevention is everybody’s business and learning the skills to recognise the signs is a simple and effective way to respond to the problem,” said Mr Thompson.

“Intervention and training programs that focus on teaching the skills for recognising at risk individuals and better equipping them to support and respond are vital in reducing the suicide deaths and attempts.

“The transient nature of the Townsville’s population means that people can feel disconnected from, and isolated within the community, leaving people at a higher risk of suicide.”

selectability CEO Debra Burden said that educating the community on how to help was a key strategy under the Townsville Suicide Prevention Community Action Plan and short courses were available to address the issue.

“Completing the four hour Mental Health First Aid (suicide prevention) course is recommended as part of the community action plan,” said Ms Burden.

“It provides tool for everyday people to recognise if someone is struggling and actions that can be taken. How often after a suicide do you hear ‘I just didn’t see it coming’?

“I encourage all readers to enrol in a course and equip themselves with these life-saving skills.”

The Mental Health First Aid (suicide prevention) course is open to anyone over 18.  For details or to enrol contact Ashleigh Scott from selectability House on 07 4725 3664

selectability is a not-for-profit mental wellbeing and suicide prevention service supporting the people and communities of northern, central and western Queensland.


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