The challenges in Ballarat around suicide are being tackled with a new online campaign.
The Ballarat.help campaign launched by the Western Victoria Primary Health Network provides resources on how to acces local support services, as well as access to free mental health first aid training for anyone over 15 to be able to help somene who may be thinking of suicide.
Through the 90-minute online training program delivered by LivingWorks, participants learn how to recognise when someone is having thoughts of suicide and how to respond to keep them safe.
Ballarat Community Health CEO Sean Duffy says the move has been sparked by concerning local statistics.
“It’s not publicised in terms of the (local) numbers, but what we’ve seen over the last 12 months is on average about one per month, and we’ve seen a spike in adolescent suicides in the last 12 months.”
Duffy adds the free suicide first aid training really can be accessed by anyone.
“It can be anyone in the community who’s in a role or in a community group that is in touch with people. And the idea of mental health first aid is that it provides basic support to people at the point of where they require it, to support them to get access to professional help if there’s an issue identified.”
Help is available
Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Ballarat.help can be accessed here.