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New website aims to save lives on the Central Coast

A new suicide prevention website for the Central Coast is set to launch this month offering free online training to help save lives.

The website is an initiative of LifeSpan, in conjunction with the Suicide Prevention Central Coast Alliance.

LifeSpan is a research trial developed by the Black Dog Institute and delivered locally via the Central Coast Local Health District.

The Central Coast is one of only four sites in NSW where the innovative LifeSpan trial is being implemented.

Central Coast Local Health District Chief Executive Dr Andrew Montague said the LifeSpan trial and new website provided the opportunity for the community to be involved in preventing suicide deaths on the Central Coast.

“The Central Coast’s suicide rate has historically been higher than the rest of NSW,” he said.

“Suicide has a devastating impact on families, friends, workplaces and whole communities so we all need to work together to tackle this problem and stop suicide in our region.”

Launching in August, the new LifeSpan website will help the community to become actively involved in suicide prevention by equipping individuals, families, schools and businesses with the tools and services to better support people facing a suicide crisis.

“We all have a role to play in suicide prevention and one of the ways the community can be involved is to complete the free QPR training available on the website,” Dr Montague said.

“QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer – three simple steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide.

“The training only takes one hour and provides you with the knowledge and skills to recognise warning signs for suicide and have a conversation that could potentially save a life.”

LifeSpan Research Director at Black Dog Institute Dr Fiona Shand said LifeSpan was developed in partnership with clinicians, researchers, community groups and people with a lived experience of suicide.

“It is an evidence-based program that combines nine suicide prevention strategies into one community-led approach,” she said.

“The evidence suggests by implementing these strategies we can expect to reduce suicide deaths by 20 per cent and suicide attempts by 30 per cent.”

Visit the new suicide prevention website:
Please note free QPR licenses are limited – visit the website for details.

Pete’s story

Truck driver Peter Bagnall is teaming up with LifeSpan as an advocate with a lived experience of suicide.

The Hardys Bay local says he might live in a beautiful part of the world – but it doesn’t mean he’s without his troubles.

A string of personal problems led Pete to contemplate suicide six years ago.

“I had a broken relationship, financial stress and then lost my job – it all became too much,” he said.

Family, friends and his future partner helped him out of his dark place and it’s now Pete’s mission to help others. This desire led him to become a crisis counsellor for Lifeline and now, a volunteer with LifeSpan.

“I hope by telling my story it helps let other people know there is an answer and a way out – because often you can’t see it at the time.”

Facts about suicide

• Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age.

• Young Australians are more likely to take their own life than die in motor vehicle accidents.

Get help now

• 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 services)

• If you or someone you know is in need of more urgent care, please contact 000.

Media opportunity: Media are invited to the website launch at Gosford Entertainment Grounds on 9 August from 9am. Interviews available at the close of the event from 10am. Please confirm your attendance.

Media enquiries:
Lauren Nicholls, CCLHD Senior Communications Officer
4320 3221 or 0414 193 308

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