Leesa Potter, Lifeline Macarthur and Western Sydney’s General Manager Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention, earlier this month participated in a panel on Suicide Prevention Networks and Community Collaboratives.
Suicide Prevention Networks connect people with a diverse network of individuals and organisations who are passionate about lowering the rate of suicide in their communities.
For example, the Macarthur Suicide Prevention Network is a voluntary committee that works closely with South Western Sydney Local Health District, South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (PHN) and other local organisations to help reduce the incidence of suicides in the Macarthur area.
Its purpose is to bring together health, education, emergency service professionals and community members to help save lives by identifying and establishing collaborative community responses and prevention strategies, increasing suicide education and awareness, and breaking down the stigma surrounding suicide.
Other Suicide Prevention Networks cover Bankstown/Liverpool/Fairfield, Western Sydney and the Southern Highlands.
The NSW Community Collaboratives initiative helps to empower local communities which have been impacted by suicide deaths to come together to better respond to suicide.
The initiative focuses on all ages and stages of life, offering a whole of community approach by:
· helping collaborators come together to address local needs and to formulate a comprehensive and compassionate response to suicide
· fostering stronger relationships among collaborators
· instilling a powerful sense of community connection and hope
· establishing suicide prevention strategies and support, and
· encouraging the sharing of knowledge, learnings, resources, evidence-based interventions and referral pathways.
At this month’s panel, organised by Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury, Ms Potter spoke about the purpose of networks and collaboratives and how well they run in South West and Western Sydney.
She also spoke about means restriction and the importance of working with PHNs and local government to ensure we get the best outcomes for the people that we support.