LivingWorks Start - Free suicide prevention training for SA bushfire affected communities - Yorke Peninsula

Free suicide prevention training is being made available to South Australian communities left reeling from the 2019/2020 bushfires.

Residents of the Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, the Adelaide Hills and the Keilira region can now access an online program run by suicide intervention training provider LivingWorks, thanks to funding from Country SA PHN.

The LivingWorks Start program prepares people with the skills to recognise when someone is having thoughts of suicide and, importantly, how to respond to keep them safe.

“Recovery efforts in our bushfire affected communities are still very much underway following the devastating December bushfires,” Country SA PHN CEO Kim Hosking said.

“Those efforts are being made even more challenging by COVID-19 and we want to make sure there is as much support as possible for these communities."

“The LivingWorks Start program adds another important layer of support because it gives community members the skills they need to look out for colleagues, friends and loved ones – even from a distance.”

LivingWorks Start is a 60-minute program that trains participants to recognise the signs when a person might be having thoughts of suicide and then take potentially life-saving action by connecting them to help and support.

Yorke Peninsula local Kay Barlow, a mindfulness consultant with an interest in all modalities of health and fitness, has welcomed the initiative. “This training will not only teach people what to look for if someone is struggling but also how to then talk to that person and not being afraid to ask if they are ok,” she said.

“I hope people embrace this training opportunity because there is always something new to learn – either for yourself or to help others.” Kay and her family were personally affected by the bushfires, losing 800 acres of standing wheat and 800 acres of stubble. She has also seen firsthand what the impact has been for various members of the community.

“Dealing with anxiety is certainly something that has come up through my work as a mindfulness consultant,” she said.

“I believe anything that helps to break down barriers and make people aware of what to look out for will be important for our community.” Mr Hosking said the free training offer comes at a good tine, with many people enhancing their life and work skills while they are in isolation or working from home.

“The more community members we can have upskilled with vital suicide prevention knowledge and confidence, the better,” Mr Hosking said.

Residents of the Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, the Adelaide Hills and the Keilira region can do the LivingWorks Start training for free here.

About Country SA PHN

Country SA PHN is responsible for commissioning Commonwealth directed funding for primary health services throughout regional South Australia. It is the health network set up to service the country regions of South Australia, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery while improving the coordination of patient care.

Established by the Australian Government, we exist to bridge the gap of health inequity and access in rural South Australia by building a collaborative and responsive health care system. Country SA PHN covers 99.8% of the state geographically, incorporating approximately 30% of South Australia’s total population.

Media Inquiries: Kristy Macfarlane, Michels Warren PR on 0402 557 527

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