Work­ing to­gether to pre­vent sui­cide and self-harm

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - MATT JONES, Mur­ray PHN CEO

Last month Mur­ray Pri­mary Health­care Net­work (PHN) in con­junc­tion with headspace na­tional of­fice con­vened a round ta­ble dis­cus­sion to en­able a more ef­fec­tive re­sponse to the is­sue of youth sui­cide and self-harm in Wan­garatta.

The round­table in­cluded par­tic­i­pants from health, ed­u­ca­tion, po­lice, am­bu­lance and lo­cal gov­ern­ment along with other key sup­port agen­cies in the re­gion. The dis­cus­sion iden­ti­fied mech­a­nisms to bet­ter col­late and link data, ini­ti­ate and co-or­di­nate ef­fec­tive re­sponses and pro­vide ad­di­tional co-or­di­na­tion re­sources to strengthen preven­tion and ed­u­ca­tion sup­port.

Ad­di­tion­ally as a di­rect con­se­quence of these dis­cus­sions, Mur­ray PHN and the re­gional of­fice of the De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices are work­ing to­gether to repli­cate no­ti­fi­ca­tion thresh­olds and co-or­di­na­tion pro­to­cols between dif­fer­ent agen­cies across re­gional ar­eas.

There is ev­i­dence that shows work­ing with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to de­velop and de­liver com­mu­nity-driven sui­cide preven­tion plans that ad­dress lo­cal pri­or­i­ties and build on ex­ist­ing ser­vices and sup­ports can help to re­duce the rates of sui­cide, re­duce the num­ber of sui­cide at­tempts, im­prove in­di­vid­ual re­silience and well­be­ing and im­prove sys­tems to pre­vent sui­cide in an on­go­ing way.

In Aus­tralia, al­most eight peo­ple die by sui­cide ev­ery day. An­nu­ally more than 2800 peo­ple take their own lives, 65,000 at­tempt sui­cide and thou­sands more con­sider it.

Mur­ray PHN CEO, Matt Jones, said men­tal health, in­clud­ing sui­cide preven­tion, is a key pri­or­ity for Mur­ray PHN across the re­gion and it aligns with our goals of en­sur­ing peo­ple get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

“We know that sui­cide is more than just a men­tal health is­sue – it’s a com­mu­nity one. It af­fects so many peo­ple, in­clud­ing fam­i­lies, friends, col­leagues and the com­mu­ni­ties of those who have taken their own lives or at­tempted sui­cide,” Mr Jones said.

“We recog­nise the sig­nif­i­cant ef­forts be­ing made by fam­i­lies, pro­fes­sion­als, schools and other ser­vices in the Wan­garatta com­mu­nity in their best ef­fort to un­der­stand sui­cide, iden­tify those at most risk and sup­port peo­ple to seek and ac­cess help.”

“To­gether we can fur­ther un­der­stand the com­plex­i­ties of sui­cide and co­or­di­nate ac­tions that build on em­pir­i­cal and emerg­ing ev­i­dence to re­duce un­ac­cept­able rates of sui­cide.”

“Rais­ing aware­ness of men­tal health ser­vices and sup­port ser­vices is im­por­tant to help build a re­silient com­mu­nity.”

“Next week will fea­ture both World Sui­cide Preven­tion Day and R U OK? Day in Aus­tralia which pro­vides a timely re­minder about work that needs to be done in this area to sup­port in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

Rais­ing aware­ness of men­tal health ser­vices and sup­port ser­vices is im­por­tant to help build a re­silient com­mu­nity. - MATT JONES, MUR­RAY PRI­MARY HEALTH­CARE NET­WORK CEO

PHOTO: Mel Guy

MAK­ING A STAND: In­spec­tor Ker­rie Hicks, Wan­garatta Lo­cal Area Com­man­der, and Jaime Chubb, Di­rec­tor Com­mu­nity Well­be­ing at the Ru­ral City of Wan­garatta, are part of the Ru­ral City of Wan­garatta Men­tal Health and Sui­cide Preven­tion Com­mu­nity Cam­paign.

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