Suicide prevention book for young people launched

January 28, 2022 BY

Ballarat Community Health CEO Sean Duffy. Photo: FILE

A NEW resource aimed at helping young people experiencing suicidal thoughts has been launched across the region.

The Youth Suicide Prevention Project Pocketbook was developed by headspace Ballarat and the Western Victoria Primary Health Network, and includes supportive messages from community members and information about accessing different mental health services.

Ballarat Community Health CEO Sean Duffy said the free pocketbook was written to help open up conversations about suicide.

“The book was designed to promote inclusivity and to help young people understand that everyone needs help sometimes,” he said.

“The aim is to raise awareness of supports available, reduce the stigma of asking for help and to encourage discussion about suicide.”

The project was funded by the State Government as part of the Ballarat Suicide Prevention Place Based Trial, which aims to reduce suicide rates in the region.

“No community is immune to suicide and the impacts are profound. It is vital we continue the actions, discussions and funding into this critical space,” Mr Duffy said.

The pocketbook will be available in locations most used by young people across Ballarat including schools, health facilities and youth organisations, and can also be downloaded.

Those quoted include health care workers, leaders, managers, carers and young people, and WVPHN acting CEO Janelle Jakowenko said public conversations needed to be had to support suicide prevention.

“This booklet is inspiring, and I thank those who have participated in its creation,” she said.

“Suicide is not only a leading cause of death for young people, it is a critical issue that impacts families and communities.

“We need to continue conversations about suicide prevention and support those who are at risk.”

If you need mental health support, visit beyondblue.org.au or call their 24/7 hotline on 1300 22 4636. You can also visit lifeline.org.au or call them on 13 11 14 and help for young people is available at kidshelpline.com.au or by calling them on 1800 55 1800.