A WORKSHOP that aims to empower people to help those struggling with mental illness will take place in Ararat on Wednesday August 14.
Ballarat and District Suicide Prevention Network Inc. has partnered with local agencies, including Grampians Pyrenees PCP and the Ararat Suicide Prevention Network, to run a workshop called safeTALK.
Grampians Pyrenees PCP health promotion co-ordinator, and Ararat Suicide Prevention Network member Lauren Dempsey said the workshop will teach participants the foundations of mental health first aid.
"It's a three hour evening session where community members or anyone can come along and have a trained facilitator provide them with key messages of support," Ms Dempsey said.
"Things like learning practical tips and advice to support people, and recognising signs and symptoms that people are struggling.
"It's kind of the first level to be able to help someone, and then there's further training that people can go onto complete. This is kind of a beginning course to all of that, so anyone can be a part of it.
"It's a bit confronting but it's also empowering and important."
Some of the points which will be addressed in the workshop are:
- notice and respond to situations where thoughts of suicide may be present
- provide practical help by using the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep safe)
- act quickly to connect the person with someone trained in suicide intervention
- contribute to building a safer community.
The workshop came about after Ballarat Suicide Prevention Network received a community grant from the Central Lviestock Exchange.
"The Ballarat Suicide Prevention Network got some extra funding and they reached out to the Ararat Suicide Prevention Network to run a safeTTALKworkshop in the area, which they were happy to do," Ms Dempsey said.
"Normally there would be a cost involved (for participants) but we've made it so there isn't, which is good."
Lifeline statistics state that:
- The overall suicide rate in 2015 was 12.6 per 100,000 in Australia. This is the highest rate in 10-plus years
- The most recent Australian data (ABS, Causes of Death, 2015) reports deaths due to suicide in 2015 at 3,027
- This equates to more than eight deaths by suicide in Australia each day
- Deaths by suicide in Australia occur among males at a rate three times greater than that for females. However, during the past decade, there has been an increase in suicide deaths by females
- The suicide rate amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is more than double the national rate. In 2015, suicide accounted for 5.2% of all Indigenous deaths compared to 1.8% for non-Indigenous people
The workshop is open to anyone over the age of 15 and is free to attend.
If you or anyone you know is struggling, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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