Suicide prevention program spreads to Queensland

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Anglicare Sydney has announced their Suicide Prevention for Seniors Program has expanded nationally to all states and territories until June 2025, through funding from the Australian Government.

The program trains people who work with seniors to recognise the signs of suicide, how to step in and offer hope, and how to connect them to services and resources that reduce feelings of hopelessness and despair.

“Australian men aged 85 and over have the highest rate of suicide,yet are less likely to use specialty mental health services. Equipping those who support older people can play a significant role in lowering the suicide rate in seniors”, said Michael Sheedy, Head of Mental Health at Anglicare.

Since the program started in 2021, it has been completed by over 500 people from a variety of professions, organisations and industries including residential aged care, retirement living, home care, allied health, mental health practitioners, hospital workers, government organisations and more.

“We are very pleased to take this program nationally, after the encouraging results to date of the program in NSW. Our three-month follow up survey indicates that almost half of all program participants have called on their knowledge of suicide prevention to assist an older person crisis”, Mr Sheedy said.

“A hundred per cent of these participants were able to ask the older person if they were intending on taking their life. Of those cases where a referral was required, 92 per cent of participants were able to connect the older person to professional services to receive the support they need.

“This feedback is very encouraging and demonstrates that the program is making an impact and equipping people with the skills and confidence to save lives.”

For anyone who is struggling, they can call the below for support and advice:

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 | Lifeline 13 11 14 | Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Those interested in taking part in this free program, visit www.anglicare.org.au/suicideprevention and register their interest.

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