The Alliance for Suicide Prevention - Sunshine Coast - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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The Alliance for Suicide Prevention - Sunshine Coast

Community-based suicide prevention

The Alliance for Suicide Prevention - Sunshine Coast is based on the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) model recognised as the world’s best practice for the care of people with depression and in the prevention of suicide. An initial trial region of Nuremberg resulted in a 24% reduction of suicidal acts within two years.

The framework is based on the following:

  • Provision of training to general practitioners​
  • Development and implementation of a depression awareness campaign​
  • Provision of training to community with a gatekeeper role​
  • Support for patients experiencing depression or suicidal ideation, high risk groups and their relatives
How is it adaptable to Australia?

The European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) was trialled and founded in Germany. Since 2008, EAAD has coordinated further rollout of this framework throughout Europe and countries abroad. The EAAD is now being implemented outside of Germany including in Canada, Chile, Italy, Netherlands, Hungary and the United Kingdom.

The Thompson Institute is implementing The Alliance Against Depression (AAD) framework on the Sunshine Coast in consultation and collaboration within the community. This will require a tailored response to suit the local community.

Are all four elements required to be implemented?

Professor Dr. Ulrich Hegerl (President, The European Alliance Against Depression) suggests that the combination of integrating these four pillars within a community is the most effective way to reduce suicidality. Many benefits can be expected from this approach.

To provide activity and interventions within all four categories will require the Alliance to engage with stakeholders across the community, including primary care, community-based services, local leaders, media, consumers and carers.

Why a focus on depression?

Depression is a high prevalence, at times severe, and often life-threatening mental health disorder. It affects the lives of many Australians every day. It is often associated with deep suffering and can be an enormous burden to those affected. There are different types of depressive disorders with symptoms ranging from relatively minor (yet still disabling) through to severe.

Many people at times can experience loss, heartache, and sadness, which is momentary and not permanently debilitating. It is when these feelings of intense hopelessness last for many days and affect regular functioning that a person can develop diagnosed depression.

The close link between suicidal behaviour and depression is well documented. Research from the American Association of Sociology suggests the risk of suicide is as high as 15 per cent among patients with severe and recurrent depressive disorders. Therefore, a renewed focus on preventative actions to improve the care and treatment for people dealing with depression is required. This holistic approach can result in a reduction of suicide at a whole of population level.

The Alliance for Suicide Prevention - Sunshine Coast

The Alliance strives to create a connected community to improve mental health and resiliency to suicidality and its precursors. It aims to provide an integrated network of community-based groups and organisations who are passionate about the prevention of suicide.

How can I get involved?

Be part of an integrated network of organisations who are committed to the prevention of suicide. You can engage in suicide prevention activities by:

What are the benefits of being an Alliance member organisation?
  • Formal recognition and promotion as an organisation actively participating in suicide prevention activities and research
  • Contribute collaboratively to an evidence‐base of research for suicide prevention for our region, by our region
  • Access to research to answer real life challenges affecting the mental health and wellbeing of our community
  • Access discounted mental health capacity building programs
  • Advocacy on important mental health issues that impact Alliance partner organisations
  • Support in implementing an evidence‐based workplace integrated suicide prevention program
For further information:

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