High demand leads to second round of suicide awareness training - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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High demand leads to second round of suicide awareness training

15 Jun 2020

High community demand for online suicide awareness training has prompted USC to provide more opportunities for Sunshine Coast residents to develop skills that could save lives.

USC, which leads The Alliance for Suicide Prevention – Sunshine Coast, is offering suicide alertness training for a further 300 people from June 26, after the first round of training in May was booked out in just over a week.

The LivingWorks Start program is free, suitable for any adult, and takes up to one and a half hours online at a time that is convenient for participants. It is provided by the University’s Thompson Institute.

Thompson Institute Operations Manager Elise Jione said a likely rise in suicide and emerging mental illness as a result of COVID-19, as forecast by the Australian Medical Association, highlighted the importance of this training.

“As we transition out of the pandemic response and consider the new struggles individuals are facing, there is an urgent need to prioritise mental health and suicide prevention,” Ms Jione said.

“Members of the community can play a major role in suicide prevention by recognising the signs that a person might be at risk of suicide and being able to connect that person to help.

“The free online workshops teach effective steps to notice that someone is struggling, ascertain the risk for suicide and keep them safe through connecting them to professional help.

“We know that 60 percent of people on the Sunshine Coast believe that negative stigma surrounding mental illness prevents people from asking for help. It’s therefore vital that we – as friends, family, colleagues, leaders and teammates – can recognise that someone close to us is struggling and start a conversation that could save a life.”

Trainees can also choose to support the University’s research into long-term effectiveness of community suicide alertness training.

To register for the free online training session, visit The Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s website at https://www.thealliance.org.au/upcoming-events/

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