Awareness and prevention initiatives surrounding regional and rural suicides are increasingly important, as our communities battle with the impacts of drought and its flow-on effects, said Member for Frome Geoff Brock.
“The rates of suicide in remote and regional areas are 1.7 time higher than in major cities nationwide and sadly, the suicide rate in South Australian rural areas is the highest in the nation,” Mr Brock said.
Mr Brock has welcomed two recent initiatives which will help raise awareness of suicide awareness and its impacts, including the formation of a Suicide Prevention Network in Port Pirie with community training of Suicide Awareness to be held on Wednesday, April 3, at the Australian Red Cross, 135 Ellen Street, Port Pirie from 2-.4.30pm.
The training will be followed by an information session on Suicide Prevention Networks and their work in communities. The session will be at the same venue, from 6-8.30pm.
Mr Brock is encouraging community-based organisations to also take advantage of community grants to support suicide prevention initiatives under the South Australian Suicide Prevention Grants Scheme, which is now open for applications.
Mr Brock said he was pleased the State Government was continuing to fund the scheme, which provides successful applicants with between $500 and %10,000 for localised suicide prevention projects to be delivered over the 2019-20 financial year.
The scheme supports community groups and non-government organisations in their efforts to raise awareness around suicide, reach out to vulnerable individuals or support people bereaved by suicide.
“Through the mental health forums I have initiated and supported in Frome, I am extremely aware of how many in our community are struggling to find balance in their lives, either for themselves or their loved ones.”
The State Government recently held a Connecting with People Suicide Prevention Training at Parliament House and it was a great opportunity to learn how to help others.
“As well as attending this training I continue to maintain contact with Lifeline CEO Country to Coast and I support any projects and will work with communities on suicide prevention.”
“Suicide impacts on families, friends and entire communities and they need our support,” Mr Brock said.
“Actions such as raising awareness, breaking down the stigma of mental health issues and working with those affected can go on to save lives.”