Good SPACE and We Yarn
The CRRMH developed the Farm-Link program, which since late 2012 delivered the health and well-being and suicide prevention program, SCARF (Suspect, Connect, Ask, Refer, Follow-up). The Farm-Link Coordinator presented the results of the evaluation to date of SCARF at the National Suicide Prevention Conference. These results indicated positive reductions in stigma and increases literacy about suicide.
Initially funded by the Australian Government under the Living Is for Everyone Framework (2007-2015), the Farm-Link program was developed in response to research that highlighted the significant distress experienced by farmers and farming communities during the Millennium Drought. The Farm-Link program focused on farmers in the New England North-West area of NSW, funded by the Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (2015-2019). The program continued to evolve, recognising that not all rural residents are farmers, and that suicidal risk was present in other groups. In response, the program and workshop were expanded to include all rural residents.
The change in focus led to the name change of Good SPACE – Suicide Prevention through Awareness, Courage, and Empathy. The Good SPACE suicide prevention skills workshop was developed by the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH). with materials updated to reflect participant feedback and research recommendations.
The We-Yarn Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Skills Workshop was developed through co-design and iterative trials with the Aboriginal workforce and communities from Moree, Walgett, Orange and the Hunter area shaping the original training for an Indigenous audience and focus (2017-2019).
The Farm-Link, Good SPACE and We-Yarn training were evaluated and found to be effective (see references below).
In 2021 – 2022, CRRMH was funded by Suicide Prevention Australia to evaluate, review, and pilot the Good SPACE program. Included in the review was a comprehensive evaluation of feedback from training across Good SPACE, WE Yarn and the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP). An updated training package was compiled using an experienced-based co-design methodology and including the CRRMH coronial data set and review findings, current research, lived experience focus groups, incorporation of current adult education principles and pilot workshops.
- Davies, K., Handley, T., Booth, A. (2017) Evaluation of the Farm-Link rural suicide prevention program.Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, University of Newcastle, Australia.
- Davies, K., Read, DMY., Booth, A., Turner, N., Gottschall, K., Perkins, D. (2020) Connecting with social and emotional wellbeing in rural Australia: An evaluation of ‘We-Yarn’, an Aboriginal gatekeeper suicide prevention workshop, Aust J Rural Health. 2020; 28: 579587.https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.12671
- Davies, K., Turner, N., Booth, A. and Read, D. (2017) Report on the evaluation of the We-Yarn project.Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, University of Newcastle, Australia.
- Handley, TE, Davies, K, Booth, A, Dalton, H, Perkins, D. (2021) Lessons from the development and delivery of a rural suicide prevention program. Aust J Rural Health. 00: 1– 6.
- Perceval M, Reddy P, Ross V, Joiner T, Kolves K. Evaluation of the SCARF Well-Being and Suicide Prevention Program for Rural Australian Communities. J Rural Health. 2020 Mar;36(2):247-254. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12373. Epub 2019 May 6. PMID: 31059168.