Busselton not-for-profit group South West Autism Network Inc have received state government funding to deliver suicide prevention training in the region.
The $16,000 grant from the Mental Health Commission will be used to train coordinator Mel Jacobson and programs manager Nick Avery as Youth Mental Health First Aid facilitators.
The pair will then deliver free two-day training sessions for the South West community in Bunbury, Busselton and Bridgetown-Manjimup between August and December.
Ms Avery said there was a huge demand for this kind of training in the region.
“We were funded in 2016 for one adult Mental Health First Aid session in Bunbury, which booked out in four hours and had a wait-list,” she said.
“This is the first time since 2012 that sessions will be run in the South West for the youth program. It is an important education program that is rarely available in this region.”
The Youth Mental Health First Aid program focuses on recognising the warning signs of developing mental health issues, understanding the most commonly occurring mental health issues in young people, how to support a young person in mental health crisis by providing youth mental health first aid and what mental health support services are available in the local community.
The Suicide Prevention Grants aim to help higher-risk populations increase their capacity to prevent and respond to suicide in their communities
The organisations chosen to deliver the evidence-based training were identified as priority populations in the Suicide Prevention 2020 strategy.
On average, around one person each day loses their life to suicide in Western Australia.
Mental Health minister Roger Cook said too many people in WA were affected by suicide each year.
“It is devastating to individuals, families, workplaces and communities,” he said.
“We are putting this funding towards where it is most needed, focusing on priority groups within our communities. Together, we must ensure that Western Australians’ mental health and well-being is a priority across the state.”
South West Autism Network Inc provides information, resources, support and referral to children, adolescents and adults with autism and developmental disabilities, their families and community members throughout the South West region.
The organisation plans to seek further funding to provide more workshops around the South West on an ongoing basis and hopes to train organisations and education staff upon request.
If you or anyone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.