Suicide Prevention forum: Can we do more to save lives?

UNITINGCARE representatives are invited to attend this year’s Suicide Prevention forum on March 8 2016 in a bid to learn how to tackle Australia’s suicide rate.

There is a push to cut the suicide rate by half by 2026 by relying on the expertise collaboration and leadership of the “gatekeepers” within the mental health community and support agencies.

The forum brings together mental health providers, counsellors, agencies and others in the field to explore how to work together more effectively to save more lives.

Attendees will hear from leading suicide prevention specialists, community support advocates and those touched by the tragedy of suicide. A number of topics will be covered including providing support in non-clinical and clinical situations, acting as “gatekeepers” for those at risk and referrals for mental health intervention.

The all-day event involved keynote speakers, personal accounts of the “lived experience”, panel discussions and workshops.

One of the speakers is Chief Executive Officer at Suicide Prevention Australia Susan Murray.

Sue is a passionate advocate for improving community health and wellbeing. With a background in education, she moved into community work with the NSW Cancer Council where she held education and communications roles and supported the growth of the organization’s fundraising program. Sue later worked on establishing foundations for the AMA NSW and Leukemia NSW before taking on a leadership role with the National Breast Cancer Foundation in 2000.

Over 10 years, Sue positioned the NBCF as one of the most highly recognized organisations in the community sector and attracted significant support for research. This led to the NBCF developing Australia’s first National Action Plan for Breast Cancer Research and Funding which has changed the way breast cancer research is supported and managed.

Prior to taking the reins at Suicide Prevention Australia, Sue was at the George Institute for Global Health working on fundraising for research into the prevention of chronic disease and injury, particularly in disadvantaged populations across Australia and overseas.

Louise Flynn is another speaker at the forum and is a Manger of Support After Suicide, a program of Jesuit Social Services. She is an experienced psychologist and has a particular interest in the value of group support.

Dr Claire Kelly is another keynote speaker who has a passion for minimising the impacts mental health problems can have on development, educational outcomes and long-term functioning of young people.

Claire became an instructor with Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA) in 2003 while studying mental health at the Australian National University, where the MHFA program was developed. She later worked on the MHFA guidelines used to develop Edition 2 of MHFA and a version for adolescents.

For more information about the Suicide Prevention Forum call Bette Phillips-Campbell on 9692 9427 or 0409 788 883.

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