Bundaberg-based Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN's Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Coordinator Evelyn Thompson. Photo: Contributed
Bundaberg-based Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN's Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Coordinator Evelyn Thompson. Photo: Contributed

Wide Bay community trains to prevent suicide

An inspiring number of residents in Wide Bay are learning how to help prevent suicide in their community by enrolling in a nationally recognised one-hour online training program.

According to the most recent report, more than 80 people in the Bundaberg, North Burnett and Discovery Coast region have already completed the Question. Persuade. Refer. (QPR) ‘gatekeeper’ training, which teaches participants to recognise and respond to signs of suicidality.

Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN’s Senior Manager for Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Michelle McAllister, said the number of people signing up to the course was encouraging.

“It’s such a credit to the community that people are taking the time to find out not only what suicidality looks and sounds like, but importantly, are learning what to do next,” Ms McAllister said.

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

“This training helps create a community safety net, and the more people who complete the course, the stronger that safety net will be.”

Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN recently funded 1,000 licences for the QPR training, which is recognised by the Black Dog Institute as the leading evidence-based program for building skills to help someone with a suicidal crisis.

Queensland had the second highest number of suicide deaths (786) across the country last year, with the rate the highest in NSW (899).

“These statistics show us an issue but they don’t show the individuals and stories behind those numbers,” Ms McAllister said.

“For every suicide there is a community, a network of family, friends and work colleagues who are affected.”

“Circumstances have changed for many people since the start of the year, creating a very uncertain and lonely time for many people, and a tense time for others.

“This training is a very practical way to help – by learning to recognise and support those who are, or might be, at risk of suicide.”

Become part of the community safety net in less than 60 minutes.

Access the QPR training here and follow the prompts through to ‘get started’. The organisation code is SCPHN.

People requiring immediate help should call

• Lifeline: 13 11 14

• MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78

• Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

• Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800



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