Program offers hope to communities struggling with suicide

Program offers hope to communities struggling with suicide

By Laurissa Smith ABC RURAL

Hay to trial new suicide prevention program Photo: Cattle on the Hay plain in southern NSW, a district that has experienced a number of suicides in recent years. (Laurissa Smith)

Rural communities grappling with suicide in NSW now have access to a new program that supports people with mental health problems.

The NSW Government is trialling the resource at Hay in the western Riverina and Walgett in the state's north-west.

NSW Minister for Mental Health Kevin Humphries says these communities recognised they needed help with suicide prevention strategies.

"Suicide has a different impact in small communities, because everybody knows everybody.

"So the communities were saying to us, you know we need a hand, because it's such an emotional and at times guilt-ridden affect on the community, not just those that are immediately affected throughout a district."

Hay Shire councillor Peter Dwyer, who has been instrumental in helping reduce suicide rates in the town, is right behind the new program.

"We're going into uncharted waters and anything we're doing is new to us and new to the state of NSW.

"So if they've come on board with something, that's great and we wholeheartedly welcome it."

The suicide prevention toolkit was developed by the NSW Mental Health Commission and Suicide Prevention Australia.

If you need assistance, you can call Lifeline 13 11 14.

Listen to the audio here

Original story story posted by the ABC here

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