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Suicide Prevention Training for Hunterlink Staff
20 · September · 2016

Hunterlink National completed their annual suicide prevention training – ASIST – on the 19th and 20th of July. ASIST stands for “Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training”, and this internationally renowned two-day training program, run by Living Works, teaches caregivers to recognise the signs that someone may be at risk of suicide, to keep the person “safe for now”, and to connect them with longer term support. We were joined for the two days by WHOS, one of Australia’s largest non-Government drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation programs.

This training was especially pertinent as the ABS released statistics earlier this year stating that suicide is one of the leading causes of death for Australians, with nearly 8 people a day taking their lives.  Furthermore, recent figures have shown that of those who die each year by suicide, 75% are males, with the highest rate among men aged 40 to 54 years. This is particularly relevant to Hunterlink, as we provide 24-hour support services to often male-dominated transport, manufacturing and construction industries and organisations across Australia. In the last 12 months alone, Hunterlink received 112 calls related to suicide from workers and their families across Australia. Although this figure may seem alarming, it is encouraging to know that people at risk are reaching out for help. Early intervention is key to providing relevant and timely support to someone at risk of suicide. For this reason, the dedicated and experienced staff at Hunterlink stay up to date with the most recent and research-based approaches to suicide prevention.

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please call our free, 24-hour assistance line on 1800 554 654. If any workplaces are interested in conducting suicide prevention training, or to find out more about the services we offer, please contact our Newcastle office on (02) 4929 6625.