'Everyday' help to fight suicide

LIFELINE Northern Rivers is calling on the community to help with the intervention and prevention of suicide, with a two-day workshop next month to help recognise suicidal behaviour and intervene early.

“Community involvement is key to suicide prevention,” counselling centre manager Niall Mulligan said.

The Applied Suicide Skills Intervention Training (ASIST) course will teach participants to better recognise suicidal signs and respond confidently in ways that increase that person's immediate safety and link them to further help.

“In 92 per cent of cases people are ambivalent about going through with suicide and will invite intervention, often in subtle ways,” Mr Mulligan said. He emphasised that suicide is a community issue that needed to be de-stigmatised.

“Suicide is not only the domain of professionals. Everyday people can help others,” he said.

Mr Mulligan said over 27,500 people across Australia had already completed the course.

Lifeline counsellor of eight years, Joyce Butcher, said lack of employment in the Northern Rivers was of particular concern to the region.

She said drug and alcohol abuse and social isolation were pertinent.

“When your one and only support goes away, whether that be a cat or a partner, it can be difficult,” she said.

The course, subsidised by Lismore City Council and Lismore Workers Club, will participants the confidence to deal with stressful interventions.

The workshops will be held in Goonellabah Community Centre, 27 Oliver Avenue, Goonellabah, from 9am to 5pm on October 23 and 24. Bookings can be made by calling 6622 4133 or email life line@lis.net.au.

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