The Suicide Prevention Community Action Plan (CAP) has been developed by Gold Coast Primary Health Network, Gold Coast Health, Wesley Mission Queensland with support from the Care for Life Suicide Prevention Network, community groups and individuals with a lived experience. It aims to strengthen relationships and collaboration in the planning, coordination, and implementation of suicide prevention activities.
Gold Coast Primary Health Network CEO, Matt Carrodus, said the Community Action plan will build on many years of work to address suicide prevention on the Gold Coast, to increase access for people who may be struggling, to services, supports, training and information.
“We need to design and tailor services and solutions to meet the Gold Coast’s specific needs and recognise the importance of a community approach and everyone’s role to provide support across the health, community, government and service sectors, in partnership with people who have lived experience of suicide,” Mr Carrodus said.
Executive Director Gold Coast Mental Health and Specialist Services, Mr Malcolm McCann, said that suicide prevention requires a whole of community approach in designing, delivering and coordinating efforts across the region and the Community Action Plan sets out a clear framework to support the strategic implementation of evidenced based suicide prevention initiatives.
“Acknowledging that while the current social landscape has seen more Australians than ever before face mental health challenges, the Community Action plan will go some way towards supporting a coordinated response to the emerging needs brought on by COVID-19,” Mr McCann said.
“We have a strong foundation of collaboration and leadership in suicide prevention here on the Gold Coast and there is every reason for hope and optimism for the future.”
A key partnership has been between the Gold Coast Primary Health Network and Gold Coast Health with the development of the Joint Regional Plan for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention, Alcohol and Other Drug Services.
Wesley Mission Queensland CEO, Jude Emmer, said it was more important than ever that the community have access to evidence-based suicide prevention initiatives.
“The past 18 months have been incredibly tough on so many Queenslanders, so it’s essential that we have the services in place now to help people who are struggling,” she said.
“We want to ensure help is there when people or their families reach out.
“Wesley Mission Queensland is the leading suicide prevention services provider on the Gold Coast and works first-hand with people on the Gold Coast who are having difficulties with their mental health or suicidal thoughts, and we know support needs to be holistic and recognise the importance of family, friends and community in helping people live rich and meaningful lives.
“We must work together to offer a cohesive plan of how to tackle this issue head on.”
To increase community involvement, individuals or community groups are invited to submit an expression of interest to join the Suicide Prevention Implementation Group and/or to be kept informed about current activities or have an opportunity to submit information.
One of the actions of the plan is to provide a community safety net for people who may be at risk of suicide. Gold Coast residents can now learn how to help save a life from suicide through free, online training for individuals most likely to come into contact with people at risk of suicide, and therefore may be in the best position to intervene.
For a full list of suicide prevention services on the Gold Coast, visit: https://gcphn.org.au/community/suicide-support-services
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