Aboriginal affairs

Grants for suicide prevention training

The WA Government will give $188,000 to local community organisations to aid in suicide prevention training in the wake of a report by the Mental Health Commission.

The grants are designed to help the community reduce suicide rates by providing support for vulnerable people and those who exhibit suicidal behaviour.

The Suicide Prevention 2020 report by the Mental Health Commission found that an average of one person commits suicide every day in WA.

One of the recipients of the funding is The Wirrpanda Foundation, an organisation that aims to improve the quality of life of Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders through mentoring.

The Wirrpanda Foundation grants manager Kate Bobridge said training offered support and a stepping stone for mentors within the foundation.

“The training the mentors will be undertaking will be in mental health, first aid and suicide prevention,” Ms Bobridge said.

“The people our mentors work with have a range of challenges in their lives, such as education, looking for employment or moving through the justice system and there are short and long-term issues associated with that.

“The training is just another way we can up-skill our mentors to be able to identify mental health issues and support the people they’re working with through those issues and also be able to refer to professionals when it goes beyond their expertise.”

Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said training was important in providing the tools to prevent suicide in high risk populations.

“Tragically too many people in Western Australia are affected by suicide each year. It is devastating to individuals, families, workplaces and communities,” Mr Cook said.

 

If you, or anyone you know, needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.