The Wide Bay has the highest rate of mood disorders in Australia, and the third highest in depression rates.
The Wide Bay has the highest rate of mood disorders in Australia, and the third highest in depression rates. John Gass

$4M to combat suicide in the Gympie region

BUSINESS leaders in the Gympie community have stepped up to access new training to protect their staff and workplace from suicide.

UNITED APPROACH: Riley Olsen, Pattie Hudson, Michelle McAllister, Aunty Lillian Burke, Llew O'Brien, Ruth Polley and Andrew Marriott at the suicide prevention launch on Tuesday.
UNITED APPROACH: Riley Olsen, Pattie Hudson, Michelle McAllister, Aunty Lillian Burke, Llew O'Brien, Ruth Polley and Andrew Marriott at the suicide prevention launch on Tuesday.

Speaking at the suicide prevention breakfast yesterday, Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O'Brien confirmed the Australian Government had allocated $4M over four years for suicide prevention initiatives in Gympie, Maryborough, and the North Burnett.

"By working together the PHN, local service providers and local businesses can give people the right skills to help them to be alert to the signs and prepare them to have the conversation that could save someone's life,” Mr O'Brien said.

Pattie Hudson, CEO for Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network launched 1000 free training packages to help protect individuals from suicide.

Pattie Hudson CEO, PHN Country to Coast.
Pattie Hudson CEO, PHN Country to Coast. File

"By taking part in new training opportunities, local businesses can provide their staff with the skills to identify the hazards and warning signs that indicate someone may be at risk,” Mrs Hudson said.

"In less than an hour you can have the skills you need to save a life from suicide.

"The training focuses on three simple steps, question, persuade and refer.

Therefore, it makes sense to add a layer of community protection across our region.

"As a community we all need to look out for each other and if you are worried, trust your instincts and have the talk,” she said.

Local community worker and Founder of local charity, Hope Reins, Ruth Polley said that the Gympie community had a record of supporting each other when times were tough.

Women in Business entrant Ruth Polley from Hope Reins.
Women in Business entrant Ruth Polley from Hope Reins. Renee Albrecht

"As a community we have come together time and again, in the wake of floods and other natural disasters. Now it's time to tackle the issue of suicide,” Ms Polley said.

"As local businesses and community organisations we all need to open up to the idea of making the workplace a place where people are able to talk openly and have a safe conversation about suicide.”

Andrew Marriott from Roses in the Ocean said anyone could make a difference by asking the right questions.

"You don't need to be a mental health professional or a doctor to check-in with someone you are concerned about,” he said.

"Suicide is an issue that affects entire communities, and it takes a community to make a difference.”

You can access the training by visiting www.ourphn.org.au/suicide-prevention/ follow the prompts and use the code SCPHN.

If you or anyone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

National 24/7 crisis services:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelpline.com.au
  • MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78 www.mensline.org.au
Gympie Times


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