Northern Tasmania StandBy facilitated a number of activities for World Suicide Prevention Day this year. One was a BBQ and friendly football game followed by a community education workshop for over 20 men involved with the community house at Ulverstone. It was the first time some of the participants had talked about their bereavement, and they said they’d found the activities very useful.
North West Central Qld and Far North Qld were presented with a plaque by their local police superintendents, to acknowledge the StandBy Response Service as valued QPS referral partners. Both NWCQ and FNQ have strong connections with the police services in their regions, and have conducted many valuable training sessions. FNQ delivered training to the Cairns police new recruit trainees as part of their mental health component in their first year in the force. Also, the same training was delivered separately to the QLD ambulance and QLD police senior officers. In collaboration with the Rural and Remote Mental Health Program, “Deadly Thinking” social and emotional wellbeing workshop was co-facilitated with StandBy Cairns and Mt. Isa in a two-day rotating presentation to the rural community of Normanton. Previous to this WSPD was well attended by over 500 Cairns residents with StandBy team members supporting the event in an organisational capacity and providing support on the night by having healthy conversation around suicide prevention, help-seeking skills and what support is available in the community.
Our East Kimberley Coordinator’s commitment and passion was evident in her efforts to ensure WSPD was recognised, supported and inclusive of a wide cross-section of the Kununurra community.
The community came together for WSPD on the evening of Friday 9th September at the local outdoor picture theatre. Local agencies provided awareness activities for community members as well as face painting, temporary tattoos, and kids games. There were giveaways including helicopter tours, books and vouchers donated from cafes, beauty salons and food outlets. A free BBQ provided healthy options, with food donated from local retail stores in Kununurra and prepped by participants of the TAFE food handling course. There was a minutes silence and a balloon release to remember lives lost to suicide which saw the sky fill with yellow and orange balloons with the idyllic Kimberley sunset as the backdrop. The evening ended with the screening of the movie ‘racing stripes’ and a message of resilience and strength to take home.
The next day Saturday 10th, the Women Elders came together in a local park for a candle light vigil. A local priest joined them to offer blessings and pray for hope and togetherness. Stories and food was shared and those lost to suicide were remembered.