It has been a big month for mental health awareness with R U OK day taking the main stage nationally on September 14. Locally, we had two significant events that every South Aussie should know about. First, was the release of the South Australian Suicide Prevention Plan 2017-2021. While it may not directly affect you right now, the government has locked in five more years of evidence-based research to support the community in respect to suicide. This follows on from the 2012-2016 plan, and sets a pathway for greater education plans and support for the bereaved, Indigenous, LGBTIQ and Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities.
A primary focus of the Suicide Prevention Plan is on community empowerment. So, let’s discuss what that involves. Currently, there are a number of Suicide Prevention Networks (SPN’s) around the state. SPN’s are community groups that have been assembled under the guidance of SA Health and the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist. The role of the groups is to provide community support and help strengthen the presence of current mental health organisations like Beyondblue, Headspace and Lifeline. These organisations act as a critical “middle man” that are able to have meaningful life-saving conversations, bring education to the community and break open the stigma related to suicide. As of September 2017, there are 24 SPN’s around the state, both in metropolitan and rural regions with many more planned over the next two years.
Adam Clay (Senior Project Officer) and Megs Lamb (Salisbury SPN Chairwoman)
The second big event was the launch of the Salisbury SPN. This is significant because it involves one of the most populated and culturally diverse Council regions, and because together with the Elizabeth and Gawler SPN’s, develops a strong presence in Adelaide’s north. The launch featured the Hon. John Dawkins MLC, a vocal suicide prevention advocate, Adam Clay the Senior Project Officer from the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, Mary Galouzis CEO and founder of Talk Out Loud Australia, City of Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge and MC Megs Lamb, who is the Chairwoman of the Salisbury SPN.
Salisbury SPN Group
To join or get involved with any of the SPN’s around the state, we encourage you to contact the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist.
A copy of the latest Suicide Prevention Plan can be downloaded here.
ManAboutADL would like to thank all those who assisted with the South Australia Suicide Prevention Plan, there are far too many to mention.
If this article has raised issues for you, please contact Beyondblue on 1300 22 46 36, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or your local GP.
We encourage you to talk to a loved one or someone who you trust and can give support.