The suicide prevention trial in Tasmania
The Tasmanian component of the National Suicide Prevention Trial is funded through Primary Health Tasmania across three locations: Break O’Day, three north west municipalities (Burnie, Central Coast and Devonport) and Launceston.
All three locations are using the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan suicide prevention model – a community-led approach that is aimed at reducing suicide and suicide attempts by building the capacity of the community to better support people facing a suicide crisis.
Initially slated to end in June 2020, the Australian Government announced in January it would provide $13.4 million in 2020-21 to extend the National Suicide Prevention Trial sites for a further year, including funding to enhance the evaluation of the various suicide prevention activities across the country.
It’s important to keep in mind this is a time-limited trial to test the effectiveness of a new approach – one that involves implementing a range of suicide prevention activities at the same time. It isn’t focused on reducing suicide in particular communities in the short term by putting new services on the ground.
At a statewide level, Primary Health Tasmania is working with pharmacy and general practice organisations to look at ways of supporting community pharmacists and GPs in suicide prevention.
Contact us if you would like to know more.
Read on to find out a bit about how each Tasmanian trial site is taking on the challenge in their local community.
In August, Professor Brian Draper presented on ‘depression and anxiety in older adults’ at a series of forums in northern Tasmania as part of the suicide prevention trial. Read more here.
The Break O’Day region extends along Tasmania’s east coast from Eddystone Point, south to Denison River, and west to the eastern portion of the Fingal Valley. It’s a picturesque part of Tasmania that lays claim to some of the state’s most scenic spots.
But the local government area’s residents – almost 30 per cent of whom are aged over 65 – have felt the impact of suicide in recent years. In response, locals have been coming together to confront the challenge of suicide since before the trial began, including through their Community Champions initiative.
It’s a proactive legacy the working group hope to build on with a range of trial activities aimed at extending the safety net across a relatively spread out population.
Establishing a bereavement support group, training locals to identify and refer people in distress, and advanced suicide prevention training for health workers in the area are just some of the items on the to-do list.
Want to get involved? Click here to get in touch with the Break O’Day working group.
Burnie, Central Coast and Devonport councils have joined together with clinical and community service providers to strengthen and support efforts to help prevent suicide across their local government areas.
The north west working group has chosen three crucial principles to guide their suicide prevention efforts: coordination, collaboration and sustainability.
These key concepts underpin the group’s focus on activities designed to build stronger links across the north west’s clinical and community sectors.
This means investigating issues like how people at risk of suicide are referred between services, offering training to a wide array of individuals, organisations and workplaces (including men’s sheds, aged care, frontline services and more), and working with the media to encourage safe reporting on suicide.
If you want to know more, or are interested in getting involved, click here.
For the Launceston community, the local component of the national suicide prevention trial presents an opportunity to come together to try a new approach to suicide prevention in Tasmania’s second largest city.
This willingness to pitch in is illustrated by the variety of voices within the site’s working group, which includes representatives from Anglicare, the University of Tasmania, police, medical centres, neighbourhood houses and the Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania, to name a few.
Its diversity is also reflected in the activities scheduled to take place in the region as part of trial. QPR (Question, Respond and Refer) training for emergency services workers, identifying male and seniors suicide prevention community champions, and establishing a lived experience of suicide group are just some of the initiatives the group will explore.
Notably, the Launceston trial site has a particular focus on the northern suburbs and will collaborate with the Launceston City Council to link in with existing initiatives in this area.
Do you want to get involved? Click here to find out more.