R U OK Day sparks free suicide prevention training

FREE TRIAL: The Port Augusta community is encouraged to undertake free suicide prevention training in lead up to R U OK Day.
FREE TRIAL: The Port Augusta community is encouraged to undertake free suicide prevention training in lead up to R U OK Day.

Are you okay? A simple question that could make a difference for someone struggling with life.

In the lead up to this year’s R U OK Day on September 13, Port Augusta locals are being urged to undertake free online suicide prevention training which will see them become part of a protective factor for the community.

The program was rolled out in May after Country SA PHN conducted a survey revealing 68 per cent of country South Australians wanted additional training and upskilling opportunities in suicide prevention.

It is now the largest scale community capacity building strategy for suicide prevention ever seen in regional South Australia.

Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson recently completed the Question Persuade Refer (QPR) training and said it was very simple and straightforward to complete.

“The advice offered as part of this training is excellent; even if you think you are across how to handle these types of conversations, there are some invaluable tips which can really help to make the difference,” he said.

“It’s important not to shy away from this issue and thankfully it seems that people are becoming more comfortable having these conversations. This training will certainly assist and encourage that process and is all about people getting help and getting the right help.”

QPR training is designed to provide everyday people with three simple steps to help save a life from suicide – knowledge and skills to identify warning signs that someone may be suicidal, confidence to talk to them about suicidal thoughts and the ability to connect them with professional care

The training has been offered for free to those living within the National Suicide Prevention Trial region, which includes Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, the Yorke Peninsula and the towns in between.

Country SA PHN Chief Executive Kim Hosking said R U OK Day is an engaging and effective day of action which is all about inspiring people to start simple conversations which can help to save a life.

“The Port Augusta community has an opportunity to take that intent one step further, by undertaking the QPR training,” He said.

“It takes less than an hour to complete and if we train only one per cent of the population in our trial region, it will act as a protective factor against suicide in the community.

“People are our biggest asset in regional communities so this QPR training offer is a long-term strategy which will create a protective factor long after the National Suicide Prevention Trial ends.”

QPR training only takes one hour to complete and anyone interested in accessing the training can use the free code CSA to login at www.countrysaphn.com.au