A Suicide Prevention Project in the South West
The Resilience Project is a mutli-level suicide prevention project which operated in six communities in the rural South West Region of Western Australia (Bunbury, Busselton, Margaret River, Collie, Bridgetown-Greenbushes and Manjimup). The Project focused on what communities can do to prevent suicide – with community resilience being the central theme of the Project. The Project was again funded by the Australian Government’s National Suicide Prevention Program, September 2009 to June 2010.
- Facilitate intersectorial collaboration to develop and promote strategies for building community resilience in the six established communities.
- Build the capacity of local communities to address service gaps and access to existing services.
- Develop local strategies to facilitate opportunities for people to connect with their communities with a focus on higher risk/socially excluded groups.
- Build the capacity of communities to recognise and respond appropriately to people at risk of suicide.
- Build community capacity for help seeking by increasing community awareness and knowledge of referral and support services with a focus on higher risk/socially excluded groups.
- Define the community centred suicide prevention processes used in the ‘Understanding and Building Resilience in the South West Project’ and promote and disseminate model to National and State key stakeholders in suicide prevention
Summary of Key Achievements in 2009-10
- Awarded the Suicide Prevention Australia 2009 LIFE Award - Healthy Communities
- Three networks and two working groups are on-going and continue to review and work through the community action plans
- Project staff worked directly on strategies/ events with 37 different agencies and community groups
- Addressing service gaps and access issues: 14 letters of support for funding applications or in support of services; involved in collaborating or supporting 24 different advocacy activities under this objective.
- Connecting to community collaboration for: Mental Health Week events; Collie Living it up Festival; Mentally Healthy WA Program.
- Seven Gatekeeper Workshops held with 100 participants and seven multi-agency staff now Accredited Regional Gatekeeper Trainers
- New programs as a result of collaboration or support: Maggie Dent community workshops; apprentice involvement in Ozhelp program; Busselton BPW Young Women’s Forum; Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid Workshops
- 23 media opportunities to promote services and events
- Promoted awareness of services and distributed suicide prevention resources via: local media; libraries and community health centres; local community service directories and pamphlets; and numerous expos (SPA Community Forum; Margaret River Senior High School Leavers Seminar; MH Week; Premier Coal Open Day; Manjimup Cherry Festival; Walganup Youth Health Expo; Collie Living it up Festival; Black Dog Ride; Y-Safety Forum)
- Supported dissemination of information & resources regarding change over from South West 24 to Rural Link
- Aboriginal Culturally Secure Workshop held in collaboration with Walganup Aboriginal Corporation and Manjimup Volunteer & Resource Centre for 25 Warren Blackwood human service providers
- Y-Safety Forum linked in with Resilience Project
- Member of the Project Advisory Committee for the South West Suicide Prevention Research Project being conducted by Edith Cowan University Bunbury campus, in collaboration with Val Lishman Health Research Foundation.
- Defined project model and developed A4 fact sheets as resource to promote model at conferences, seminars, meetings and community forums
- Two Project staff trained as provisional Livingworks ASIST trainers, now working towards accreditation.
Understanding & Building Resilience in the South West Project wins National Award!
On Friday September 11th, ICCWA was awarded the 2009 Healthy Communities LIFE Award for its contribution to suicide prevention within south west communities. Each year in conjunction with International World Suicide Prevention Day, Suicide Prevention Australia holds the national LIFE Awards in the recognition of outstanding contributions made to suicide prevention within Australia. Find out more>
To download or view the final reports on the Understanding & Building Resilience Project click on the following:
FINAL REPORT: 15 June 2009>
Summary of Final Report / February 2007 - June 2009>
Evaluation of Phase 2 of Understanding & Building Resilience Project >
This project was supported by the National Suicide Prevention Strategy from the Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing.
Understanding & Building Resilience Project has been a successful model that has elicited widespread community engagement and participation from across all sectors. Local input was the key factor in the model’s success, with opportunities for this occurring during the action research phase and then sustained through the establishment and input of the local working groups.
Acknowledgements The strength and success of this project lies with the comprehensive consultation process and the engagement of community, and collaboration with the many agencies and service providers across the region. We would like to thank and acknowledge the collaborative work of the organisations listed below.
|Aboriginal Healing Project, Waratah||MATES Men’s Support Service|
|Bridgetown Family and Community Centre||Manjimup-Bridgetown Times|
|Bridgetown Men’s Shed and RSL||Manjimup Family Centre|
|Bunbury Mail||Manjimup Volunteer & Resource Centre|
|Bunbury Pathways||Mentally Healthy WA|
|Cancer Council WA||Mindframe Program|
|City of Bunbury||Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention|
|Collie Family Centre||Western Australian Police|
|Collie Mail||Red Cross|
|Office for Youth, Department for Communities WA||Rotary Clubs of Greater Bunbury Region|
|Department of Education and Training WA||Shires of Augusta-Margaret River, Busselton, Collie, Bridgetown-Greenbushes and Manjimup|
|Department of Veteran’s Affairs||South West Aboriginal Medical Service|
|Disability Services Commission||South West Community Drug Service Team|
|DOVES Domestic Violence Education & Support||South West Regional College of TAFE WA|
|Gay and Lesbian Community Services||South West VETLink|
|GP Downsouth Division of General Practice||Talison|
|Greater Bunbury Division of General Practice||Trinity Outreach Services True Colours Program|
|Heart Foundation WA||Val Lishman Health Research Foundation|
|LAMP Inc.||Western Australian Country Health Service – South West|
|Lifeline WA||Wisdom in Your Life – Map of Loss (Roslyn Snyder)|
We would also like to thank the following are members of the South West Reference Group that guided and supported this Project.
- Dr Beth Jackson – Project Officer, ICCWA
- Shaun Nannup – Project Officer, ICCWA
- Deborah Costello – CEO, ICCWA
- Kate Dodson – Warren Blackwood Student Services Manager, Department of Education and Training
- Dr Graham Fisher – Val Lishman Health Research Foundation
- Janelle Leiper – Health Advancement Coordinator, WA Country Health Service – South West (WACHS-SW)
- June Foulds – CEO, Greater Bunbury Division of General Practice
- Karen Hansen– GP Support Coordinator, GP downsouth Division of General Practice
- Julie Stone – A/Manager, Social and Emotional Team, South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS)
- Noel Wallam – Family Support Worker, South West Aboriginal Medical Service
- Rory Stemp – Mental Health Program Manager, WACHS-SW
- Tony Strang – Community Crime Prevention officer, South West Police
- Marina Johns – Project Coordinator, ICCWA
Resilience refers to a person's "ability to bounce back or recover after adversity or hard times, and to be capable of building positively on these adversities" (Mission Australia Research and Social Policy, 2005). When a community is resilient, it can "respond to crises in ways that strengthen community bonds, resources, and the community's capacity to cope" (Chenoweth & Stehlik cited in Healy, Hampshire & Ayres, 2003). Resilience is of great interest and relevance to suicide prevention and mental well being.
If you, or anyone you know is at risk of suicide, please contact one of the following help lines
South West 24 1800 555 336
Men's Help Line 1300 78 99 78
Lifeline 13 11 14
Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
Based at WACHS - South West , Busselton
Phone: 08 9754 0518