Suicide Prevention through Community Education and Involvement

The 2018 International Mental Health Conference is almost upon us again, this year the conference will be held over the 8th – 10th August at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

This annual conference is now in its 19th year and continues to be the pinnacle event in the mental health industry. The Conference provides an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and to share knowledge, research and latest policies.

Dr Kathleen Jacobs, Sr Manager, Healthy Minds, CRANES Community Support joins us at the conference to discuss ‘Wake Up! Suicide Prevention through Community Education and Involvement’.


In 2016, the Clarence Valley was named as having the highest suicide and attempted suicide rates in NSW. We also have 5.27% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population – twice the percentage of most communities.
Aboriginal and TSI populations typically present with twice the suicides/attempts of the general population.
Many theories abound, including:
• rural isolation
• limited access to services
• shortage of resources
• ignorance of mental health issues
To address the issue, the PHN contracted with CRANES and other organisations to give free classes to the public to help them
• understand MH and suicide
• to notice when someone may have a MH issue
• to give them tools to aid those in a vulnerable condition.
CRANES also agreed to organise ‘Community Champions’ where trainees can register as contacts for those who need help and provide them with resources, guidance and supervision as requested.

Data collection from attendees show how the training has affected their lives. As of September 2017, respondents said that they feel more confident:
• recognizing someone experiencing a mental health problem or crisis=100%
• approaching someone about their mental health=86%
• in asking whether someone is feeling suicidal=100%
• in recognising signs that someone may be developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis=79%
• noticing and correcting misconceptions about mental health=79%
• recognizing someone experiencing a mental health problem or crisis=100%
• approaching someone about their mental health=86%
• the number of people they have spoken to about their mental health increased because of training

As of 13/10/2017 <100 trainees spoke to 242 people about their mental health and supported >49 individuals experiencing a crisis like suicide or self-harm

20-30% are interested in becoming a Community Champion

New figures from 10/2017 to 6/2018 available in September 2018.


30 years clinical experience with PTSD. PhD, CMSW, MBA-OB, BS-Crim/Soc Professional speaker & trainer for 19 years, presenting in Australia, USA, NZ, Canada, UK. Courses include Understanding PTSD, How to Prevent Vicarious Trauma in Workers and Carers, Choice Theory in the Treatment of PTSD, Effective Business Communication, Leadership Powered Management, Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, Emotionally Intelligent Leadership/Management, Conflict Resolution Made Easy, and much more. I believe that if it isn't practical - giving people something they can start using right away - it's not good training... and regardless of the topic, you have to keep a sense of humour.

For further information on the 19th International Mental Health Conference and to secure your spot please visit



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