Workshop aims to break down mental health stigma
Following the highly successful inaugural suicide prevention walk ‘Strength for Today, Hope for Tomorrow’, Cobram and district residents will have an opportunity to attend a workshop aimed at helping people support those impacted by suicide.
StandBy — Support After Suicide is offering the free workshop for people wanting to learn about suicide bereavement and how to support someone impacted by a suicide loss.
‘What Do I Say, What Do I Do?’ will be held on Wednesday, October 10 from 6 pm to 9 pm at Cobram Secondary School’s library.
The workshop, delivered in partnership with Lifeline Central Victoria and Mallee, will provide participants with practical skills to support anyone impacted by suicide.
Cobram District Health and Moira Shire Council are both supporting the event, which follows the terrific reception to the suicide prevention walk started by the Ventre family, who lost daughter April to suicide in 2016.
StandBy Murray coordinator Lucinda Fraser said the workshop was designed to help build the capacity in both individuals and the community to respond to suicide and support one another.
‘‘Losing someone to suicide can be overwhelming and often isolating,’’ Ms Fraser said.
‘‘We know that support from family, friends and the wider community is so important in helping those impacted to stay connected, but often people don’t know what to say or do to help.
❝There is no one program or agency that can solve this. We need broad community engagement supported by as many agencies and community groups as possible. As part of developing resilience in our community, we need to lower stigma around mental health and suicide so that people feel able to seek help.❞
‘‘The What Do I Say, What Do I Do workshop provides a safe environment to learn about suicide bereavement and equips people with support skills that will build their confidence to support someone impacted by suicide.
‘‘We want people to leave the workshop feeling more prepared to support someone and be comfortable having an open conversation’’
Cobram District Health community engagement officer Bruce Naylor said suicide prevention and awareness was part of a broader wellbeing issue that affected more than just the youth of Cobram.
‘‘There is no one program or agency that can solve this. We need broad community engagement supported by as many agencies and community groups as possible,’’ Mr Naylor said.
‘‘As part of developing resilience in our community, we need to lower stigma around mental health and suicide so that people feel able to seek help.
‘‘StandBy’s workshop is a post-vention approach to supporting communities that have experienced suicide and we are partnering with them because this is an important part of developing a community conversation around mental health.’’
For every Australian who takes his own life, more than 100 people are impacted. That’s about 300 000 Australians impacted each year.
StandBy — Support After Suicide is Australia’s largest provider of post-vention support, offering free faceto-face or telephone support to anyone impacted by suicide.
The StandBy workshop is free and includes a light dinner. To register, RSVP to To find out more about StandBy — Support After Suicide visit www.standbysupport.com.au or www.facebook.com/ standbysupportaftersuicide To contact the public hotline for any assistance or enquiries about StandBy, phone 0439 173 310.