Celebrating 25 years in Australia this year, LivingWorks leads the suicide intervention skills training space with a vision to build communities and workplaces where there’s always someone close by with the skills and confidence to intervene to keep a person safe, access help and find hope.
LivingWorks Australia believes in moving beyond awareness and into creating networks of safety to ensure as many people as possible know how to reach in, start a conversation and safely connect someone to services before they attempt.
In the mid-1990s, LivingWorks founders were building the trainer network in Australia and hosted the first ASIST ‘Training for Trainers’ in Bundaberg, Queensland. Since that time, the LivingWorks network has grown to 800+ trainers nationwide, with more than 1,000,000 people across the country now having learned the skills to intervene and help keep someone safe from suicide.
Initially auspiced by Lifeline, LivingWorks programs have now become embedded among many organisations and initiatives to support priority populations, including MATES, Fortem, Open Arms, Aus Defence Force, Switchboard and StandBy as well as the important launch late last year of LivingWorks Indigenous ASIST (I-ASIST).
Ongoing research and evaluation are at the core of LivingWorks operations to ensure its programs are up to date with the latest evidence in suicidology. LivingWorks Australia has developed strong local partnerships with Orygen, University of Queensland, Monash University, Telethon Kids Institute, Thompson Institute, Griffith University, University of New England and others, plus has ongoing collaborations with Thirrili, RUOK? and many PHNs across the country.
LivingWorks is marking its quarter-century anniversary with another milestone this year, delivering the largest suicide prevention training blitz in the world helping to create a network of safety around young people.
The $14m investment from NSW Health will offer free LivingWorks training to up to 280,000 teachers, school staff, parents, sports clubs and other groups as part of the NSW Government’s Mental Health Recovery Package, which aims to support anyone whose mental health has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Research leaders in youth mental health, Orygen, are partnering on the project.
LivingWorks Australia is also working this year with the Victorian Government on the response to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, which recommended state-wide intervention training so people within communities and workplaces have the skills to help keep one another safe.
For more insight into LivingWorks Australia’s work across the country take a sneak peek preview of their newest video, set to launch next month for World Suicide Prevention Day: https://youtu.be/ZR9MkBDyiYM.