Community network to help stop suicides in Macarthur
Efforts to stop suicides in the Macarthur region will be bolstered by a new community network to be established by Lifeline in early 2016.
Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel said the creation of the Macarthur Regional Suicide Prevention Action Network will bring together health, education and safety professionals and community members to help save lives.
“With about 2500 deaths by suicide per year – more than double the road toll – too many families and communities are experiencing the loss of loved ones, mates and colleagues,” Mr Shmigel said.
“While Lifeline has called for this issue to be declared a national emergency, it’s an emergency we can do something about. The creation of this network brings a whole community together towards one goal of stopping suicide.
“The National Mental Health Commission recently highlighted the role that regional networks can play in tackling this issue, and we believe the work done in Macarthur can act as an example for stopping suicides in other towns and cities across the country.”
Lifeline Macarthur’s Crisis Support Manager Jacky Moore said the plan would help reinvigorate the community’s efforts in this area.
“No one knows the issues in a community better than those who live it,” Ms Moore said. “We can use our local insights and research to build a stronger community; one where we can all play a role in supporting those doing it tough.
“We can stop suicides by better linking local health and support services, sports clubs, social groups and community organisations, as well as through empowering community members to help in various ways.”
Lifeline Macarthur, which was established in 1978, currently answers about 2500 calls a month from people across Australia experiencing crisis. The organisation is also runs a number of workplace and community training programs, as well as face-to-face bereavement and financial counselling support programs.
Organisations and community members are invited to express their interest in joining the Macarthur Regional Suicide Prevention Action Network by emailing [email protected].
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.