A band of 'gatekeepers' will be based in the community to help people in need, with the NSW Government investing $2.8 million over the next three years to train 10,000 volunteers in suicide prevention skills.
Member for Wollondilly Nathaniel Smith MP, welcomed the program and said that having a local network of people trained to spot when someone was struggling would benefit the whole community.
"This life-saving program will mean that when a person shows signs of needing help, there will be someone in their circle who can make sure they stay safe and seek support," he said.
Mr. Smith joined with Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor in saying 'gatekeepers' play a critical role in community-based suicide prevention because they help connect workmates, friends and family to professional support.
"We are building a safety net within the community because tragically, more than 40 per cent of people who die by suicide have not reached out for professional support," he said.
"Gatekeeper training gives people the skills to recognise the signs that someone is at risk of suicide and the confidence to start a conversation with them about how to access support."
Gatekeeper training will be provided by 13 organisations with expertise in engaging specific at-risk communities.
The program will target high-risk populations and industries, including men between 18 and 35, female apprentices in construction, family lawyers, Aboriginal communities, veterinarians, older people and the LGBTIQ community.
Towards Zero Suicides is a NSW Premier's Priority investing $87 million over three years in new suicide prevention initiatives.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services:
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
- NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511
For more information, or to apply to become a gatekeeper, visit: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/gatekeeper
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