Bayside Suicide Prevention Network working to save lives

News
The Tribute Book that will be at each Suicide Prevention Network meeting for attendees to remember those those lost to suicide.

Our new Suicide Prevention Network, launched at the start of April, is up and running and working to address the pressing local need for suicide awareness and support across all age groups in our communities.

Facilitated by Connect Health & Community with the support of Headspace, Wesley LifeForce and co-chaired by local resident Vivienne Blennerhassett, the network launch was attended by locals touched by suicide who feel the need for stronger support at all levels of the experience.

 

Connect Health & Community Co-Chair, Kirstie Edwards, said speakers at the launch shared the personal and professional journeys that triggered their desires to help reduce the rates of suicide in our communities.

“The network launch was an emotional and powerful event for everyone as the community came together to take control of this issue that literally results in the destruction and helplessness of so many lives. The network aims to be a prevention forum that will raise awareness of suicide across all ages, celebrate the lives of those we have lost and recognise the impact on those left behind,” said Ms Edwards.

Co-Chair Vivienne Blennerhassett, Connect Health & Community GM Primary Health, Chris Hill and Connect Health & Community Co-Chair, Kirsty Edwards remember those lost to suicide with Brighton Secondary College students, Claudia and Mo.

“The forum aims to train our local communities to increase their capacity to support those around them at risk of mental illness and suicide,” said Co-Chair Ms Blennerhassett who lost her young adult son to suicide.

The Network will hold a planning meeting in early June to determine the design and function of the network, develop a 12 month action plan and begin plans for the hosting of those events.

Ms Edwards said the network is still inviting membership applications from community members of all ages, with professional advocates provided for young people. Interested people can contact Kirstie on 03) 9575 5349 or email her at: k.edwards@connecthealth.org.au

Suicide in our community - Network attendees’ relationship to suicide:

34 attendees collectively knew 31 people who died by suicide:

  • 16 of those people were aged between 11 and 19 years of age
  • 7 of those people between the ages 25 to 40 years of age
  • 8 of those people between the ages of 41 years and 55 years of age

Attendees also collectively knew 12 people who are survivors of suicide attempts ranging in age from 13 to 50 years.

Network launch attendees remembered those they have lost in hearts listing their ages.

 

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