Farm-Link hosts suicide prevention skills workshop in Moree

The Moree service providers who participated in Farm-Link's suicide prevention skills workshop at Flourish Australia on Tuesday.
The Moree service providers who participated in Farm-Link's suicide prevention skills workshop at Flourish Australia on Tuesday.

A number of Moree service providers have learnt valuable skills in identifying and dealing with someone who may be at risk of taking their own life during Farm-Link’s suicide prevention skills workshop.

Seventeen service providers from Flourish Australia, Moree Area Homelessness Services, Moree Family Support, Anglicare and Homes North participated in the workshop, held at Flourish Australia, Moree on Tuesday.

Course presenter, Rachel McLay said it was a really great turn-out, with plenty of positive discussion from all participants.

“We talked about things that we can do to help a person that’s in a bad space,” she said.

“The service providers that we had along today said they learnt a lot about not being judgemental when talking to somebody; that’s something as service providers we all have to check in with ourselves about. They also learnt how to ask somebody if they’re feeling suicidal and what to say in repsonse to that, as well as lots of tips and tricks that everybody can do just to improve their own mental health and wellbeing in different areas and aspects of their life.”

The unique four-hour workshop is aimed at educating the community on how to recognise signs of mental problems and what to do to help.

Instead of focussing on the risk factors of suicide, the workshop provides ways to recognise changes in a person who may be suicidal, such as what they’re eating, how social they are, changes to their sleep etc, as well as a plan to help someone they’re worried about.

Flourish Australia Moree manager Claire Gillan organised Tuesday’s workshop and said Farm-Link provided excellent and knowledgable training on suicide prevention.

“Building capacity for Moree services providers is an essential part of supporting our community,” she said.

“Every person went away with further knowledge regarding how to support people who are affected by suicide or may be considering suicide.”

Ms Gillan said the workshop was particularly beneficial to the various service providers in attendance.

“The services represented deal with some of the most vulnerable people in our community and they need to be armed with the skills to support people in whatever aspect of their journey they are on and sometimes that’s when they encounter suicide in their lives,” she said.

“Flourish Australia and Farm-Link have a strong partnership that will continue to build in the future and provide positive outcomes for our community.”

Farm-Link's Carmel Sullivan (back second from right) and course facilitator Rachel McLay (back right) with some of the workshop participants from Flourish Australia Moree, (back) Janet Hutchison, Bruce Jones, (front) manager Claire Gillan and Sandra Smith.

Farm-Link's Carmel Sullivan (back second from right) and course facilitator Rachel McLay (back right) with some of the workshop participants from Flourish Australia Moree, (back) Janet Hutchison, Bruce Jones, (front) manager Claire Gillan and Sandra Smith.

Farm-Link regularly run suicide prevention skills workshops throughout the region and are willing to run additional workshops if there is enough interest from community groups or individuals.

The workshops are open to anyone interested in learning skills to help prevent suicide.

“The latest research tells us that while men in rural or remote areas are less likely to seek help, they’re 10 per cent more likely to communicate in conversation with someone they know, their thoughts of suicide,” Farm-Link coordinator Fiona Livingstone said.

“Without experience or training, general community members are not likely to a) identify what that person is saying or b) if it is obvious, they might not know what to say.

“So these workshops help people identify what could be someone at risk of suicide, how to have a conversation with that person and know where to go to get help.”

If anyone is interested in participating in a workshop or finding out more about what Farm-Link can offer, contact Carmel on 0419 707 211 or email carmel.osullivan@newcastle.edu.au. 

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.