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Helping Central Coast workplaces protect staff from suicide

Workplaces on the Central Coast are being encouraged to complete free online training to help protect their employees from suicide.

The training is being offered by LifeSpan Central Coast – a research trial developed by the Black Dog Institute and delivered locally by Central Coast Local Health District.

LifeSpan Central Coast Coordinator Liz Hammond said QPR online training was available to all local organisations – big or small.

“QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer and is an evidence-based suicide prevention training program that anyone can learn to help save a life,” she said.

“The training only takes around an hour to complete and can be easily fit into your workplace training schedule.”

Ms Hammond said suicide affects everyone, with one in four people knowing someone who has taken their own life.

“Chances are suicide has affected someone in your workplace,” she said.

“We spend so much time at work so your employees are well placed to notice when their colleagues are having a tough time, but they may not know how to help.

“QPR training gives your staff the skills to recognise when someone is struggling and importantly, the knowledge and confidence to help them seek professional care.”

Central Coast manufacturing company Wideline have started rolling out the training among 30 of their staff.

Wideline Work Health and Safety Manager Greg Tedd said they had staff members who had been at risk of suicide and they wanted to be better equipped to offer them support.

“We have a diverse workforce with around 280 people in sales, administration and mostly manufacturing,” he said.

“It’s a predominantly male workforce in our factories and the workers can often put on a brave exterior and keep their issues to themselves but the training has helped us to remove the stigma and de-mystify mental health problems so we feel free to talk about it like you would talk about the common cold.”

Ms Hammond said suicide prevention training in workplaces creates a flow-on effect that benefits our whole community.

“The training not only helps you look out for your workmates but it also helps you to have conversations outside of work with friends and family or anyone you are worried about,” she said.

Mr Tedd agreed that QPR was a fundamental life skill everyone should learn.

“It takes less than an hour of your day but the benefits are far reaching and could save a life.”

LifeSpan Central Coast can provide local organisations with support and resources to help rollout suicide prevention training to meet their needs.

Free QPR training is also available for individual members of the community.

To find out more phone: 4320 9408 or email

If you would like to talk to someone, please contact: Lifeline: 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 or beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 (all 24/7 support

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