We are pleased to inform you that Holyoake’s Wheatbelt Community Alcohol and Drug Service (WCADS) is introducing an integrated, place-based Suicide Prevention Project throughout the Wheatbelt during 2022. This has been made possible thanks to funding from the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA).

“Empowering individuals and communities is at the heart of this activity. The establishment of community-led initiatives will encourage tailored, sustainable solutions to meet the diverse needs of our Wheatbelt communities” said Melissa Spark, WAPHA Regional Manager, Wheatbelt.

We developed this project based on the Alliance Against Depression model and the ‘Lifespan’ framework for suicide prevention. Our aim is to increase knowledge about mental health and suicide prevention, promote help seeking behaviours, and improve access to primary care and supports.

“Holyoake welcomes this new initiative to build community capacity to support our vulnerable cohorts across the Wheatbelt region. We look forward to the introduction of this much-needed project.” said Lorraine Keane, CEO of Holyoake.

This Suicide Prevention Project will cover an area of approximately 188,000 square kilometres, including 43 local government authorities. It will ensure that individuals and communities have access to information and empower them to access the support they need in a timely manner. We will focus on activities aligned across four key pillars of service delivery:

  1. Primary Care Suicide prevention training will be provided to GPs, practice nurses, practice managers and pharmacies to encourage help-seeking behaviour in the community.
  2. Education & Training Free mental health literacy and suicide prevention training will be provided to professionals, paraprofessionals, and community members to increase confidence in being able to identify risk and how to access or refer into support.
  1. Grant/Funding Round will be offered to LGAs, organisations, community wellbeing plan committees, incorporated bodies, and service groups to undertake place based grass roots suicide prevention activities and training that align to the Alliance Against Depression Pillars.
  2. Community Champions will be identified with representation from the most vulnerable sub populations. They will have access to free training and resources to build capacity and embed suicide prevention activities at a community level.

The Suicide Prevention Project will be managed by Jo Drayton, Holyoake’s Wheatbelt Suicide Prevention Coordinator. She believes that this timely injection of funding into the Wheatbelt will assist and empower individuals and communities to deliver solution-focussed activities to reduce risk and improve safety. It will also assist in upskilling our workforce to be better equipped to support individuals in distress or those living with suicidal ideations.

This project will be governed by a Wheatbelt Reference Committee with representation from Holyoake WCADS, WAPHA, and the WA Country Health Service (WACHS).

Please visit the Wheatbelt Suicide Prevention Project portal for more information.