LivingWorks Start - Free suicide prevention training for SA bushfire affected communities - Adelaide Hills

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

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.

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

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

Recognising the signs and community connection go hand-in-hand

When Angie Lo-Faro changed careers from an intensive care and emergency nurse and clinical educator to become a publican, she wasn’t expecting her experience in health to be used any more.

But in running the Mount Torrens Hotel alongside her family, she soon discovered the two roles had an important cross-over – community connection and the chance to check in on the health and wellbeing of those around you. Now, as the Mount Torrens Hotel prepares to re-open following easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Angie is welcoming the introduction of free suicide prevention training as a vital way to learn how to recognise the signs when someone is struggling.

“It’s so important to know the signs of when someone is stressed but can’t say it,” she said.

“Having the knowledge to recognise what they might be trying to say without their voice is a very powerful skill and the free suicide prevention training being made available by Country SA PHN will help people to be able to do just that.

“When we closed the pub because of COVID-19, it became very apparent that having an opportunity to come together for a meal and a catch up with friends or family is such a vital part of how we keep an eye on our loved ones and those around us.

“The fact that people will have the chance to do this again, combined with the launch of this free suicide prevention training will, I believe, be very beneficial for our community as a way to come together and ensure we’re all helping each other.

“Reconnecting ourselves into our community through the opening of our social spaces will enable the skills taught in the suicide prevention training to be utilised through our social connections.

“The bushfires and then COVID-19 has caused significant combined stress increases for our community and by using the skills taught in this training we can help our friends and neighbours navigate the road to recovery safely and supported by their community.”

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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