Suicide Prevention Priority; Research to Find Local Statistics

Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia), March 21, 2019 | Go to article overview

Suicide Prevention Priority; Research to Find Local Statistics


Byline: Jessica Lamb Jessica.Lamb@frasercoastchronicle.com.au

A NUMBER of organisations and tiers of government have stepped up to the plate in the past week to address high rates of suicide on the Fraser Coast.

The issue has been front-of-mind for community advocacy groups, university academics and the local hospital and heath service after the launch of both an inaugural prevention forum and a 12-month academic study.

This comes after $1.5million of Federal Government funding was announced to establish and maintain a new Headspace satellite centre in Maryborough last week.

More than 20 people attended the first Wide Bay Suicide Prevention and Mental Wellbeing forum held at the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood centre yesterday.

The day was coordinated by Jaie's Journey Inc founder and local advocate Sandra Moran, whose youngest son Jaie Moran took his own life two days after his 22nd birthday.

The event attracted guests and speakers from Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg and Brisbane including help services and those with lived experience.

"We want this to happen every year and get bigger and better," Ms Moran said.

"Although we are discussing some hard topics we are mindful of people's experiences and this is a safe place.

"It is important to raise awareness about suicide and mental health first aid including the different kinds of help services that are available - everyone is different and deals with things differently."

The University of the Sunshine Coast has partnered with the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service to improve access to help for people at risk of taking their own lives.

Lead researcher, USC lecturer in social work Dr Kate Jonathan said a 12-month study would provide Fraser Coast-specific data and map available suicide prevention services and resources in the region.

"It would also determine links between professionals and organisations to aid timely and appropriate referrals and follow-up treatments," she said. …

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