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Ambassadors support suicide prevention program


An hour to learn how to save a life – will you answer the call?

Twelve well-known local identities have already backed Newcastle-based institute Everymind’s delivery of a free online training program that provides people with the tools to start a potentially life-saving conversation.

The Question Persuade Refer (QPR) equips participants with the knowledge and skills to identify warning signs that someone might be suicidal, as well as the confidence to talk and connect with professional care.

A promotional video has been released across social media networks, featuring the likes of Surfest founder Warren Smith, Australian rugby league assistant and former Knights coach Michael Hagan, Screaming Jets singer songwriter Grant Walmsley, Got Your Back Sista chief executive Melissa Histon-Browning, and Waves of Wellness lead facilitator Dave Kelly.

Mr Walmsley says his reason for supporting the campaign is a deeply personal one.

“I have lost too many mates to suicide,” he says.

“Anything we can do to help understand how to assist someone who is having suicidal thoughts is a great step forward.

“An hour spent can save a local life.”

Other ambassadors include Newcastle Business Club president Craig Wellings, Newcastle Museum director Julie Baird, Hunter Valley Coal Chain coordinator Kirsten Molloy, Director of Hamilton Doctors Ben Seckold, Badger Australia chief operating officer Belinda Smith, ABC Newcastle presenter Dan Cox, and well-known media personality Mike Rabbitt.

Everymind director Jaelea Skehan believes the ambassadors’ support has been incredibly important in encouraging people to complete the QPR course.

“Suicide is something which touches every Australian and community, including ours,” she says.
“I would like to say thank you to each and every one of these ambassadors who have donated their time, energy and participation in supporting us and spreading the word about QPR and the role each and every one of us can play.”

Apart from individuals, she adds businesses, community groups and sporting clubs can also get involved.

“Some organisations in the Hunter are using the QPR training as part of workplace support for employees, providing each person with an hour of work time to complete it, which is amazing,” she says.

“If there is one thing we could ask all Newcastle people to do this July, it’s to do QPR.”

QPR training has been made available as part of LifeSpan Newcastle and additional funding support from the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network.

It is available to people over the age of 18 by visiting the everymind.org.au website.

Interested organisations and businesses can register multiple numbers of participants at no cost.

If you need any assistance, there is support available 24/7.

Please visit lifeline.org.au or call 13 11 14.

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