Role for councils in responding to suicide

Postvention Australia, a national association which helps people who are left behind after a suicide occurs, seeks local councils for its proposed national outreach peer support program, Here for You.

The group’s booth at the National General Assembly last month was visited by a number of council delegates keen to learn more about the association and its works.

“We outlined the message of postvention which is to proactively support those impacted by a suicide death and prevent further suicides from taking place,” said Alan Staines OAM, the association’s National Secretary.

“This is an often-neglected area of suicide prevention as people bereaved through suicide are up to eight times more likely to take their life than the general population

“We also explained the central role that councils may play in a more community-based approach to suicide prevention and postvention.”

Mr Staines said one goal following partnerships between Postvention Australia and a council is that the council would be able to coordinate with other community entities to provide people with a practical, contextualised response to a suicide death.

He said the association’s proposed Here for You peer support program would ensure a bereaved person is given immediate, appropriate support by someone who has shared their experience of loss.

The association also offers suicide prevention training via QPR Institute Australia.