Much is heard on support services available to those at risk of taking their own lives, but one group is determined to create a locally-driven response to build awareness of mental health and to reduce the risk of suicide.
To that end the fledgling TenterLIFE group is convening its first AGM on Thursday, September 17 at 5pm. Interested members of the community are encouraged to attend either via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83963664753) or in person at 33 Railway St, Tenterfield (RSVP required).
The positions of chairperson, secretary and treasurer are set to be filled, with nominations accepted on the night.
Representatives from Wesley LifeForce Suicide Prevention have been coordinating with locals to convene informal meetings since early 2019, to connect with the Wesley's national Suicide Prevention Network.
Lexie Sherren got involved in April last year as the result of a personal experience, but said anyone passionate about preventing suicide is welcome. There are currently around 40 on the group's email list, including around 20 who have signed up as members.
Ms Sherrin said a cross-section of the community is represented, including mental health nurses, school representatives and local residents. She is keen to see membership spread farther to include indigenous groups, service groups and social groups, to create a web of outreach units throughout the community.
"It's important just to be able to talk to people and have some empathy," she said.
To help with that, TenterLIFE's first training session is a two-day weekend course scheduled for October 17 and 18 on ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), conducted by Fiona Livingstone from Find Hope.
TenterLIFE's stated aim is to engage the community in working together to reduce suicide, and its impact, through education and communication.
Its goals include:
- Raising awareness of the national Suicide Prevention Network and suicide prevention
- Starting conversations about general checking in and reducing stigma
- Training and education for support
- Network representation in local events
For further information contact Ms Sherren on 0429 990 222 (email email@example.com) or Jocelyn Box on 0429 036 579 (email Jocelyn.Box@wesleymission.org.au). Ms Sherren asked that new members email her ahead of the meeting.
Anyone in need of immediate support should phone:
- Lifeline 24 hour crisis support (13 11 14),
- Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467), or
- Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).