HELP IS THERE: Regional communities in the Western and Darling Downs will have the opportunity to attend workshops targeting suicide and wellbeing in rural areas. Picture: Shari Allen
HELP IS THERE: Regional communities in the Western and Darling Downs will have the opportunity to attend workshops targeting suicide and wellbeing in rural areas. Picture: Shari Allen

Suicide prevention programs coming to Western Downs

Regional and farming communities in the Western and Darling Downs will have the opportunity to attend 18 workshops targeting suicide and wellbeing in rural areas.

‘CARE’ is a four-hour evidence-based program that addresses the health needs of people living and working in remote communities such as Dalby, Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, particularly those working in farming, agribusiness, and other agricultural industries.

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Program developer Dr Meg Perceval has a deep understanding of the pressures of farming, and the issues facing people living and working in rural areas.

“’CARE’ is highly practical training that specifically addresses the issues facing people living and working in agriculture and rural communities,” Dr Perceval said.

“It discusses all aspects of health – physical, mental and social – and factors that may improve or detract from it, so that participants may take steps to improve their own health and assist others to.

“We know people care for others‘ wellbeing, and want to be able to help, but often do not feel confident in how to best do that. “

Dr Perceval said the CARE action plan ‘Connect, Ask, Refer, Encourage’ offers the steps to take based on best evidence.

OzHelp Chief Executive Officer Darren Black said this program will reach some of Queensland’s most remote and vulnerable communities.

“This program is targeted to reach the heart of rural Queensland, with the schedule designed to connect with individuals and communities through online workshops, or face-to-face workshops in regional, rural and remote hubs such as Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Dalby, Isisford, Wrotham Park Station and Ravenshoe,” Mr Black said.

“The program has been evaluated and shown to improve health outcomes, such as mental wellbeing, as well as knowledge, confidence, and skills to be better able to recognise, assist and respond when others may need a hand.”

OzHelp Foundation developed the program with support from Perpetual Trustees, Dr. Meg Perceval, Be Health, and the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) through Griffith University.

For a list of workshop locations and dates, head here. 

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