Lifeline symposium to highlight rural suicide prevention needs
Lifeline Australia is today hosting a forum in Toowoomba to help better understand the diverse crisis support needs of people living in regional, rural and remote areas, where the suicide rate is twice the national average.
The country’s leading suicide prevention service’s Chairman John Brogden said the Rural Suicide Prevention Symposium will see about 40 Lifeline Centres converge on the regional city.
“This symposium is about Lifeline Centres sharing knowledge, discussing solutions and learning from some of the country’s leading experts,” Mr Brogden said.
“While Lifeline’s 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services are a safety net for all Australians, we’re exploring how our phone, digital and face-to-face services can do more for people in regional, rural and remote areas.
“We’re engaging with local communities to learn what suicide solutions are needed. This might include using technology to break down geographic barriers, training more people in suicide prevention response or better understanding local economic challenges.
“About 50 per cent of Lifeline Centres are based in rural and regional areas and have become leaders in rural and regional suicide prevention. In Toowoomba, we can all learn from Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland’s long-standing community presence, connection with local people and understanding of the issues they face.
“As such, this symposium will help us take what’s best across our Lifeline network and use it as a consistent set of suicide prevention services in country Australia.”
The symposium will include contributions from:
- The Hon. John McVeigh MP, Federal Member for Groom (keynote speaker)
- Jacinta Hawgood, Senior Lecturer, Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention
- Ros Darracott, School of Public Health and Social Work, QUT
- Tim Saal, Program Manager, Australasian Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health
- Jeremy Forbes, HALT
- De Backman-Hoyle, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advocate, Roses in the Ocean
- Claire Bond, Media and Communications Manager, Ruralco
For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp