One of the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health’s three priorities is understanding and responding to suicide in rural and remote communities across NSW.
We conduct research activities to help understand the key factors leading to suicide. We also deliver a wide range of workshops and training courses to educate communities and health professionals in suicide prevention.
We are part of the NSW Mental Health Commission Suicide Prevention Advisory Group which works to improve planning, monitoring and co-ordination of suicide prevention efforts. We are also a member of Suicide Prevention Australia.
Rural Suicide Prevention Forums
In addition to our research activities, training and workshops in suicide prevention, the Centre is playing a national leadership role in the area of rural suicide prevention.
Since 2017, the Centre has hosted Rural Suicide Prevention Forums at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, where key stakeholders, including politicians, policy makers, government and non-government organisations and industry representatives came together to discuss rural suicide prevention.
The 2017 Rural Suicide Prevention Forum: Working together to prevent suicide in rural communities, focused on the fact that in every state in Australia, the rate of suicide among those who live outside the greater capital cities is higher than that for residents that within them. It looked at the issue of rural suicide from different perspectives, with a series of 5-minute presentations, followed by table workshops where participants identified those key issues which should be considered when planning and implementing suicide prevention strategies and approaches for rural settings.
Following on from the forum, a CRRMH Position Paper was developed using suggestions and ideas obtained from participants who attended the Forum. Local and international sources as well as the CRRMH’s experience and research were also used.
The 2018 Rural Suicide Prevention Forum: A coalition for action, looked at Focus Areas 3, 4 and 5 of the Position Paper:
- Providing support to vulnerable groups in rural and remote populations,
- Building protective factors in children and young people and;
- Building healthy and resilient rural people and communities.
Special guests included CRRMH Patron, the Governor of NSW, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC (Ret’d), National Mental Health Commissioner Lucinda Brogden and NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey.
The ideas and suggestions made at the forum will contribute to the proposed NSW government framework on suicide prevention as well as inform CRRMH research priorities and programs in rural suicide prevention.
Click here to download the CRRMH Position Paper: Rural Suicide and its Prevention: a CRRMH position paper December 2017 (5 MB)
Click here to download the Addendum to the Position Paper (updated suicide prevention data): Addendum_Suicide Prevention Position Paper_27 September 2019 (575 KB)
Click here to download the Position Paper Summary: Summary - Rural Suicide and its Prevention: a CRRMH Prevention Paper (254 KB)
The 2019 Rural Suicide Prevention Forum: Taking a collaborative approach to community wellbeing, focused on Focus Area 5 of the Position Paper. This directly related to the CRRMH’s work on community wellbeing collaboratives. The discussion topics were:
- Gauging and generating community readiness for action
- Engaging locals in community wellbeing
- Building collaboration through networks
- Tracking and measuring progress and success
- Defining the scope and vision of initiatives
Speakers shared their experiences from Our Healthy Clarence, Muswellbrook Healthy and Well and community consultation work.
Find out more and see the presentations from the forum here.
People interested in partnering with us in this area should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for the media release about the 2017 Forum (282 KB)
Click here for the media release about the 2018 Forum (121 KB)
Click here for the media release about the 2019 Forum (549 KB)
Click here for the “Suicide and Suicide Prevention in Rural Areas of Australia” Briefing Paper (1263 KB)