Business leaders in the Gympie community are stepping up to access new training to protect their staff and workplaces from suicide.
At a Suicide Prevention Breakfast in Gympie today, Pattie Hudson, the CEO for Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network launched 1000 free training packages to help protect individuals from suicide.
"By taking part in new training opportunities, local businesses can provide their staff with the skills to identify the hazards and warning signs that indicate someone may be at risk.
"In less than an hour you can have the skills you need to save a life from suicide. "The training focuses on three simple steps, Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR).
"You will gain the skills to identify someone who is at risk, the confidence to talk about suicidal thoughts and the knowledge to connect them with professional care.
"We are all part of a connected network of family, friends and colleagues that builds a local community. Therefore, it makes sense to add a layer of community protection across our region.
"As a community we all need to look out for each other and if you are worried, trust your instincts and have the talk," Mrs Hudson said.
Local community worker and Founder of local charity, Hope Reins, Ruth Polley said that the Gympie community had a record of supporting each other when times were tough.
"As a community we have come together time and again, in the wake of floods and other natural disasters. Now it's time to tackle the issue of suicide.
"As local businesses and community organisations we all need to open up to the idea of making the workplace a place where people are able to talk openly and have a safe conversation about suicide.
"We're encouraging all of our staff and volunteers to complete the training so they can be there to support and refer those who need a helping hand," Ms Polley said.
Andrew Marriott from Roses in the Ocean said anyone could make a difference by asking the right questions.
"You don't need to be a mental health professional or a doctor to check-in with someone you are concerned about.
"Suicide is an issue that affects entire communities, and it takes a community to make a difference.
"Regardless of circumstances, we all have an important role to play in supporting those who are vulnerable," Mr Marriott said.
Speaking at this morning's breakfast, Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O'Brien confirmed the Australian Government has allocated $4 million over four years for suicide prevention initiatives in Gympie, Maryborough, and the North Burnett.
"By working together the PHN, local service providers and local businesses can give people the right skills to help them to be alert to the signs and prepare them to have the conversation that could save someone's life. I encourage everyone to engage in the program," Mr O'Brien said.
You can access the training by visiting www.ourphn.org.au/suicide-prevention/, follow the prompts and use the code SCPHN.
National 24/7 crisis services:
- Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelpline.com.au
- MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78 www.mensline.org.au