COMMUNITY leaders and residents will establish a network in Horsham to help reduce stigma and raise awareness about suicide.
Wesley LifeForce hosted a meeting in the city on Wednesday night to gauge interest in forming a suicide prevention network.
The organisation focuses on educating people about suicide, challenging attitudes, and teaching basic engagement and intervention skills.
Wesley LifeForce community development co-ordinator Trisha Stephens said about 18 people including service providers and people with lived experiences attended the meeting, where they voted to form a community-led network.
“One of the aims is to host some prevention activities and events, and the group was really interested in having an awareness or memorial walk for people bereaved from suicide,” she said.
“It’s about a six-month process to make the group sustainable. From there, that’s when we would start looking at community events and activities.”
Ms Stephens said suicide prevention networks already existed in other places in Victoria, including Ararat and Ballarat.
“Ballarat is one of the bigger groups we have, and they’ve put their hands up to support Horsham as it gets up and running,” she said.
Ms Stephens said it was up to each community to drive their network and decide its focus and activities.
“With each network it depends on their own community and what would work best,” she said.
“We provide a framework from that grassroots, ground-up approach, but it’s about the community guiding this.
“I will be that source of support in establishing the group and setting up a committee and the terms of reference.
“Wesley provides resources such as templates and ongoing support for when it comes to making a banner and a logo. It depends on the group as to whether they want to make up pamphlets or other resources.”
Wesley LifeForce will provide $5000 in seed funding for the Horsham group.
Ms Stephens said anyone interested in joining could call her 0417 932 602 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The group hopes to host its first meeting within the next month.
- If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.