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and Listen


Welcome to our January 2020 update

We hope you had a safe break over the holidays. We want to acknowledge the devastating impact of the bushfires over the past couple of months and the vital role health professionals will play in local response and recovery efforts. In this update we’ve provided a link to a list of supports for people affected by the fires, as well as an article about mental health services required after a disaster.

This update also includes a new 'Questions for people with lived experience' section. In each update, people with lived experience of suicide will generously respond to questions submitted by you, starting with those gathered during two ‘You Can’t Ask That’ style Q&A panels we held at the end of last year.

As always, we would love to hear any feedback or suggestions on other things you’d like to learn about in future updates. Our email is

Please feel free to forward this 'Update' on to other health professionals. They can sign up to receive these updates directly by clicking here.

For more information, go to

Alex and Emma


What's happening?

Suicide prevention is so much more than a risk assessment

In October 2019, the Collaborative ran two workshops for health professionals providing therapy in our region. 124 health professionals attended the workshops after completing a self-assessment tool which helped them reflect on how their practice aligns with the latest evidence for treatment of suicidal people. 

The interactive workshops aimed to equip clinicians with the latest skills and training in psychological treatments for suicidality, with the evaluation showing notable improvements. See the graphic below and click
here for more details!


Training opportunities

Measures for suicidality

One aspect focused on in the 'Suicide prevention is so much more than a risk assessment' workshops was the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS; Joiner, 2005).
For those who are interested, click here for a website that provides you with links to established measures for gauging each of the constructs in this theory (i.e. perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, acquired capability). The INQ-15 and ACSS-FAD may be particularly helpful.

Please let us know whether you find any of these helpful -
 we’re keen to hear how you use them. Email

Suicide prevention community of practice

We were delighted to see that 37 participants from the recent psychological treatment workshops (30%) say they are keen to join a community of practice focused on suicide prevention.

If you are interested in joining a community of practice in Nowra, please email Emily Pretzler:



Questions for people with lived experience

Last year, the Collaborative held two panels featuring people with lived experience. Audience members had the opportunity to ask the panel questions about their experiences, and receive open, honest answers. One of the Q&As is below. 

Q: When someone asks you to think about the good things, does it ever emphasise loss and make you feel worse?

A: For me, when I’m feeling depressed – and historically there is a direct correlation between ‘depressed’ and ‘suicidal’ in my life – the ‘good things’ can seem pretty thin on the ground.

I experience depression as pervasive, persistent, and personal – it’s all shit, it’s always going to all be shit, and it’s ultimately all my fault… At those times, I would struggle to compile even a meagre list of ‘the good things’. I think that, for me, in those circumstances attempts to draw attention to ‘the good things’ could well inadvertently emphasise grief and loss, at a particularly inopportune time.

That’s why I feel quite lucky to have discovered not only reasons to stay alive, but also compelling reasons to not kill myself. Reasons to not take my own life are probably more helpful to me at times of crisis than the reasons to stay alive, which I can find difficult to recognise and connect to while experiencing suicidality.

If you would like to submit a question for people with lived experience, email


Bushfire support

With bushfires severely impacting the Shoalhaven and Southern NSW regions, COORDINARE - South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network (PHN) has developed a 'Bushfire support' web page for the community. The page provides information about free local support services, mental health lines, recovery guides and more. Go to:
Recent articles
  • Mental Health Services Required after Disasters: Learning from the Lasting Effects of Disasters - A. C.McFarlane and Richard Williams: Disasters test civil administrations’ and health services’ capacity to act in a flexible but well-coordinated manner because each disaster is unique and poses unusual challenges. The health services required differ markedly according to the nature of the disaster and the geographical spread of those affected. Read the full article >
Phone: 1300 069 002

Address: PO Box 325, Fairy Meadow, NSW 2519
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