Suicide prevention is a complicated business and it’s everybody’s business. There need to be different levels of information available to increase awareness, skills, and knowledge.
Education and training for selected people on suicidal behaviour and effective responses will make the community better able to prevent suicide.
These people can be advisors and key participants in activities. It’s important that they be strong and well within themselves to take on this extra role.
Education and training programs should match your community needs, and the background and skills of the people being trained.
Make your education and training message positive. This will help to lessen the stigma about mental health. It will also help people to associate the subject with positive action.
Reflect on the success of any education and training initiatives.
Don’t lose heart if the development of your group isn’t going as planned. Forming a group to oversee such initiatives is difficult but the process of building it can be as useful as what it does.
Find out about existing training services.
Work in progress checklist
- How many individuals have attended suicide education/training courses?
- To what extent is the training useful and have you put the skills to use?
Information you should keep
- Records on training activities for selected individuals
- Interviews with these individuals, before and after the training
- Review training and education evaluation feedback
Here’s what one community did:
The Community Drug and Alcohol Team (CDAT) at Glen Innes added suicide prevention to its responsibilities and has co-ordinated suicide awareness training for the community.