FAQs

The Collaborative

Who is the Collaborative?

'The Collaborative’ is simply a term we use to describe the organisations and individuals who have come together to reduce suicide deaths and attempts in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region. 

The Collaborative has continued to grow and now consists of 4O local organisations from across health, education, community, local media, police, ambulance, employment agencies, Aboriginal organisations, local councils, and transport. Countless people from the community have also contributed to our collective success, including people who have generously shared their own personal experiences with suicide and recovery. These perspectives have been at the heart of our efforts from the beginning.

How does the Collaborative work?

The Collaborative has two ‘backbone’ staff. And so the work is largely done by Collaborative members who contribute via the various working groups, at monthly meetings, or by supporting and advocating for suicide prevention efforts out in the community.

The Collaborative is building a culture where, rather than working in silos, our members are committed to playing their role in a genuine collaboration, working towards the shared mission of reducing suicides.

Can anyone join the Collaborative?

Yes! Anyone is welcome to join the Collaborative, and the growing diversity of our membership echoes the need for a whole of community approach. All members have an equal say, and all contributions are respected and welcome. We need everyone in the community to understand what role they can play in suicide prevention, and feel confident to play that role.

What do we mean by 'lived experience'?

The Collaborative defines lived experience as people who have experienced suicidal thoughts, survived a suicide attempt, cared for someone through suicidal crisis, or been bereaved by suicide. As this definition suggests, not all lived experiences are the same. We value having a diverse range of lived experience perspectives to inform our work.

How are people with lived experience involved in the Collaborative?

One of the Collaborative’s fundamental guiding principles has been the meaningful inclusion of people with lived experience. We’ve achieved this by having people with lived experience involved in all our working groups and leading many of our activities. To help them do this work, we have provided whatever support our lived experience members have needed, and invested in building their capacity, to use their voices more confidently and with purpose.

What has the Collaborative been working on?

In 2016, the Collaborative was successful in supporting the Illawarra Shoalhaven to become one of four regions in NSW to implement LifeSpan - a new, evidence-based, integrated approach to suicide prevention that combines nine strategies that have strong evidence for suicide prevention into one community-led approach. This has formed the basis of our work over the past two years and we’d like to say a massive thank you to the Black Dog Institute for supporting us in this work.

You can find more information about the work of the Collaborative and what's next in our report card (click here).

Who is most at risk of suicide?

Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. Local data shows that there is no one, unique profile for those who die by suicide. Suicide affects people from all cultural backgrounds, socio-economic categories, age groups, gender identities and sexual orientations.
Suicide affects everyone and we all have a role to play in prevention.

Click here for more information about suicide in the Illawarra Shoalhaven

Question Persuade Refer (QPR)

What is QPR?

Question Persuade and Refer (QPR) is an evidence-based training program which provides:

- knowledge and skills to identify warning signs that someone may be suicidal

- confidence to talk to that person about suicidal thoughts

- awareness and ability to refer to available supports.

How long does the training take to complete?

The self-paced session takes 60-90 minutes on average to complete and does not need to be completed in a single sitting – you can take as long as you like and take a break as you need.

What will the training cover?

QPR online and QPR face-to-face cover the following content:

- common myths and misconceptions about suicide

- warning signs of suicide (direct verbal, indirect verbal, behavioural, situational)

- how to ask the suicide question (direct and less direct methods)

- how to persuade someone to stay alive

- how to refer individuals to help.

How much does it cost?

$10 per license (i.e. per person).

Can I purchase more than one license at a time? (E.g. if I would like to organise QPR online training for my organisation or community group.)

Yes, you can purchase as many licenses as you like!

If you are looking to organise QPR online training for your workplace, we can help! Please get in touch via suicideprevention@coordinare.org.au.

How do I purchase QPR online?

QPR online can be purchased directly from www.suicidepreventioncollaborative.org.au/QPR. Simply click on the 'Purchase QPR' button at the bottom of the page.

For more detailed information on the QPR online payment process, please click here.

How do I access the training?

QPR online licenses can be purchased by clicking here. Once you have purchased a license, you will receive a confirmation email which includes your:

- username

- password

- link to QPR online training website.

If you are having any difficulties logging into your account, please contact suicideprevention@coordinare.org.au.

What resources will I need to complete the training?

All you need to complete QPR online is your username/password and access to a computer or mobile device with internet connection.

Suicide prevention training can bring up strong emotions. How are people completing QPR online supported to seek help if they need it?

At all times during the QPR online training, there will be a 'Need Help' option which will refer the participant to support lines.

I have recently been personally affected by suicide. Is it safe for me to do the training?

Community suicide prevention training aims to teach individuals the warnings signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond. These trainings are not recommended for individuals recently bereaved by suicide, as it is not a therapy or support group, but an education session to learn how to support others.

If you or someone you know is in need of more urgent care, please contact:

Lifeline on 13 11 14

beyondblue Support Service 1300 224 365

Or visit ‘Need Help’ for more options.

QPR online for organisations

How will we know if the training has been effective?

We are able to provide a summary of the impact of the training exclusively for your organisation. This draws upon the results of online surveys that are built-in to the training. The evaluation focuses on staff knowledge and attitudes towards suicide and help-seeking, as well as their confidence to identify and support people at risk of suicide. 

Is there a discount for not-for-profit organisations or organisations buying a large number of licenses?

We are pleased to be able to currently offer the QPR training at $10 per person. This is already a significantly discounted rate, with the normal rate being $35 per person.

Can the training be done in groups?

We strongly advise that the QPR online training be done individually. This allows people to complete the training at their own pace, take a break if they find the training brings up difficult emotions, repeat sections of the training they are particularly interested in, and confidentially seek help via the recommendations that are built-in to the online training. Doing the training individually also provides each person with a personalised certificate of completion. And importantly, the evidence for QPR online training reducing suicide deaths only comes from when it is done individually.

We do recommend incorporating two briefing sessions – one before staff do the training, and another afterwards. These can be done in groups, and provide a great opportunity to check in with staff, seek feedback, and link the QPR training with existing organisational supports (e.g. Employee Assistance Programs).

How does an individual in our organisation access the training?

Individuals will simply need to use their username and password to log in to the QPR training website (http://lifespanresearch.qprtraining.com/).

Specific details of how to log in are included in a QPR Instructional Email Template we provide to organisations during orientation and planning.  

Suicide prevention training can bring up strong emotions. How are people completing QPR online supported to seek help if they need it?

QPR online may bring up strong emotions, but it is not expected to cause significant distress. The training can be done over multiple sittings, which enables people to pause and take a break as needed. There are also details for support services built-in throughout the training, and a list of these services is also available to provide staff in hardcopy.

We do recommend incorporating two briefing sessions – one before staff do the training, and another afterwards. These can be done in groups, and provide a great opportunity to check in with staff, seek feedback, and link the QPR training with existing organisational supports (e.g. Employee Assistance Programs).

Myself or one of my staff members has recently been personally affected by suicide. When is it safe to do the training?

Community suicide prevention training aims to teach individuals the warnings signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond. These trainings are not recommended for individuals recently bereaved by suicide, as it is not a therapy or support group, rather an education session to learn how to support others.

For some resources that may be helpful in the aftermath of a recent suicide, please click here.

If you or someone you know is in need of more urgent care, please contact:

Lifeline on 13 11 14

Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467 

Or refer to your internal EAP service.

What are the IT requirements for the training?

To complete QPR online, staff will need access to a computer or mobile device with internet connection.                                    

Check your firewall: Some organisations may have IT systems in place which block access to the QPR training website. Please check all staff members can access the training at work by sending the QPR online training website link (http://lifespanresearch.qprtraining.com/) to your IT team.

YAM

Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM)

Is YAM evidence-based? What is the evidence for YAM?

Yes.

The Black Dog Institute reviewed Australian and international school programs with the best evidence of reducing suicidal behaviour. Analysis of YAM shows significant improvements in youth mental health by effectively reducing depression, conduct problems, hyperactivity, suicide attempts, severe suicidal ideation and suicide plans. It has also been shown to facilitate healthy lifestyle choices by young people.

For more information, see http://www.y-a-m.org/research/.

Can a representative from the school be present during the YAM sessions?

YAM developers stipulate that trainers and helpers must be external to the school in which the program is being delivered. A key objective of YAM is to provide participants with a safe space where they can openly discuss any issue they want. The YAM developers believe that school staff participation is an obstacle to open and sincere communication and should be avoided without exception. The evidence supports this belief, with sessions run with school staff in the room being less effective.

What about students who are at risk of suicide, should they be doing the YAM program and will there be a screening process?

YAM does not screen students as it is a universal preventative program. However for the purpose of the LifeSpan research study, screening will be conducted in five schools. School staff and parents will be made aware if screening will be conducted in their school.

Students identified as at risk, through screening or by school staff, need to be referred for follow up and treatment but can continue to participate in the program.

YAM is not a treatment program. However, no negative effects have been observed for at-risk students who have continued to participate in YAM.

How will students at risk be supported?

Research has shown that YAM does not pose any increased risk for participating students, nor does it result in an increase in demand for mental health services. Mandatory reporting procedures, should this be required, will be followed by YAM instructors as departmental staff who will advise the principal of any student identified at risk of harm.

Does YAM fit in with the current Wellbeing Framework for Schools?

YAM supports the cognitive, emotional, social and physical wellbeing of students and can contribute to the school’s planned approach to wellbeing.

What information and resources are available to assist the implementation of YAM?

A range of resources have been developed to help roll out YAM in schools:

- sample permission notes which can be customised locally by each school

- information flyers for parents and community

- sample risk assessment: a YAM risk assessment will be available to be adapted to the school context. The YAM Coordinator will be available to assist the school.

Does the program have to be delivered over three weeks?

There is flexibility in the delivery of YAM and it does not necessarily need to be delivered over three weeks. Our local YAM Coordinator will work with your school to work out how delivery can work best.

I am a parent of an adolescent, what can I do?

Click here to view information for parents, including where to find resources and discussion forums, as well as what trainings are available locally.

Talking about suicide in public and the media

Is it okay to talk about suicide?

Suicide is a public health issue that affects individuals, families, workplaces and communities across Australia. It is an important issue of community concern and needs to be discussed.

The way we talk about suicide is important – the words we use do matter!

Click here to view guide on how to talk about suicide.

Can stories in the media have in impact on suicide?

Suicidal behaviour can be learned through the media.

Media can play a crucial role in reducing suicides deaths by providing safe media coverage, improving awareness and promoting help-seeking.

Media guidelines supporting the responsible reporting of suicide by the media can reduce suicide rates, and in providing safe, quality media coverage, improve awareness and help seeking. In Australia, these guidelines have been developed by the Mindframe National Media Initiative.

Click here to view Mindframe guidelines.