Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network [MPHN] encourages Hilltops residents to take an online suicide prevention training course.
The course, named QPR (Question, Persuader, Refer), is free for people living in the Murrumbidgee area, including the Hilltops area, and is designed to increase knowledge, understanding and confidence in speaking and responding to a person who may be suicidal.
It is one of nine suicide prevention strategies included in the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan program being piloted in the Murrumbidgee.
Suicide Prevention Officer Seryn Adams is implementing the program across Murrumbidgee and urging people to take the training.
“It helps people recognize the signs of suicide and teaches them what to do if someone says they’re suicidal. It’s about learning what to do next if someone says they’re not well. What do we do now? That’s what it teaches you,” she said.
The Murrumbidgee is one of four trial sites in NSW and one in ACT implementing the LifeSpan model.
“We are one of five state and ACT trial sites. And we were chosen to be part of this trial because of our higher suicide rates,” Ms. Adams said.
“So it’s important that we train people to be aware and know what to do. There are little things we can be aware of, and the training gives you guidance on what to say and what to say. not to say. Lots of practical things that not everyone knows about.”
The training is evidence-based and has been rolled out in the US and UK.
“It’s for everyone, it’s not for medical professionals, it’s for the whole community,” she said.
“We’re trying to train as many people as possible, bring those numbers down and make a difference.”
The course lasts approximately one hour.
Ms Adams says 900 people across the Murrumbidgee have taken the course so far.
She hopes to see that figure climb to 1,300.
“It doesn’t even take an hour. All you have to do is log in, it’s very easy,” Ms Adams said.