On Tuesday 26 March more than 30 community members and organisations involved with the development of Lismore’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan came together for its official launch at the Lismore Regional Gallery.
North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) provided Australian Government funding of $380,000 to employ a Coordinator for the project and to implement the initiatives laid out in the Plan.
At the launch, Project Coordinator Cath Bird of LifeLine Direct emphasised that the Plan was the result of consultation across the broad community for more than a year.
“Drawing up this Suicide Prevention Action Plan gave us a wonderful opportunity to involve people from all walks of life and develop a community-led approach to suicide prevention.
“There is a real groundswell of support across the Lismore community to implement practical suicide prevention measures. These include training opportunities to equip ourselves to recognise people who might be at risk of suicide and be able to offer them appropriate support.”
NCPHN’s CEO Julie Sturgess thanked Cath Bird and the Lismore Suicide Prevention Collaborative for their work and said the launch was an exciting milestone in creating a community-led, multi-sector approach to preventing suicide.
“This Plan has identified priority areas and now we can put in place local evidence-based approaches to improve mental health and wellbeing in the community.”
Attendees at the launch included Federal MP Kevin Hogan, Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith, representatives from police, ambulance, National Parks & Wildlife and the Department of Education. Also present were staff from Lismore Base Hospital’s Mental Health Unit, people with lived experience of suicide and people working in organisations supporting those dealing with the loss of loved ones through suicide.