Dear Residents of Western NSW,
As you may know, some of our communities have recently been impacted by suicide attempts and deaths.
We wish to extend our heartfelt thoughts and offer our support to those experiencing thoughts of suicide, those who have made an attempt, those who are supporting someone in crisis or feeling the loss of a loved one as a result of suicide.
To those having thoughts of suicide or are supporting someone who is in crisis, you are not alone, there are many people and organisations that are ready to help you when you need it, and when you need it the most.
We know suicide can be a tough topic to talk about and we want to make sure that you know that assistance and advice is available so that you don't feel like you have to go through your experience alone.
The following organisations exist solely to support you in even the toughest of times. During times of crisis, these organisations are just a phone call away and will provide free and confidential support:
- Lifeline - 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467
- Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
- MensLine Australia - 1300 78 99 78
- Beyond Blue - 1300 22 46 36
- Mental Health Emergency Care - 1800 011 511
Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) also directly funds the following
services that provide ongoing Mental Health Support:
- Strong Minds (all ages) - (02) 6826 5271
- New Access (for ages 16+) - (02) 6333 2838
- Rural Youth Mental Health Service (for ages 16 to 25) - 1800 236 762
- Headspace (for ages 12 to 25): Bathurst - (02) 6338 1100, Broken Hill (02) 9393 9699, Dubbo - (02) 5852 1900 and Orange - (02) 6396 9300
- GP After Hours Clinics: Bathurst - 0487 540 635, Dubbo - (02) 6884 9739 and Orange (02) 5335 6666
You should also talk to your GP for advice on maintaining your mental wellbeing.
WNSW PHN is also working hard to improve the support available to community members by:
- Collaborating with key service providers and health and first responder agencies to improve the response to community members in crisis.
- Empowering community suicide prevention networks to come up with local suicide prevention initiatives that work for the local community.
- Offering training to service providers, agencies, and community members to improve the knowledge and skills of those who may be supporting an individual with suicidal thoughts or behaviours.
- Providing a series of Social and Emotional Wellbeing services commissioned with many of the region's Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).
- Promoting services like Thirrili who can offer face-to-face or telephone support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bereaved by suicide or a traumatic event
- Working with incoming service providers like StandBy who are setting up in-person and telephone support for friends, family, witnesses, and community bereaved by suicide and Western NSW Local Health District's soon to be opened Safe Haven Cafés in Dubbo, Parkes, and Broken Hill .
- Promoting safe and responsible media reporting on suicide so that those already vulnerable to this reporting are not further distressed by stories relating to mental health and suicide.
- Participating in the National Suicide Prevention Trial in the Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Lachlan, Walgett and Weddin Local Government Areas to improve community capacity to respond and support to a person in crisis.
- Partnering on the Way Back Support Service with Beyond blue, Far West LHD and Mission Australia to offer an intensive support program to individuals who have attempted suicide.
- Seeking feedback from the community on their experiences with suicidal crisis and the care they received when seeking help.
- Developing a Western NSW Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan with Western NSW and Far West Local Health Districts.
- Promoting services like Lifeline who can offer more than just telephone crisis support services across our region.
Our commitment is to strengthen the physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of all individuals in Western NSW.
Please remember, there is support available and it exists for you.
Acting CEO, WNSW PHN
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