June eNews out now

22 June 2016
June 2016
CEO's Corner
In just a couple weeks we will be standing at a polling station, having our say on who should be leading our country.
When thinking through your voting decision, we ask that you look to who has made firm commitments to the health and wellbeing of every Australian. Who is standing up for mental health and suicide prevention?
In addition to months of numerous meetings in our nation’s capital, we have sent letters to all MPs and candidates reinforcing the need to stand with us and our members to prevent suicide. I am pleased to report that from almost 750 letters, we are receiving daily statements of commitment and requests for constituent meetings. This tells us that the local will to build community capacity is there and ready to be harnessed at a party level.
Last week we followed this up with a public manifesto for suicide prevention, to complement the messages shared so far by Lifeline Australia, Mental Health Australia, AA4SP (Action Agenda for Suicide Prevention) and others in the sector.
Most importantly, this document offers incoming Government essential first steps for action to contribute to our shared goal of reducing suicide by 50% in ten years. We hope that it will also assist members of the public, particularly those with a lived experience of suicide, to continue to advocate for suicide prevention to be seen as a public health priority above political debate. Download and share the manifesto today.
It's great that many of the parties and politicians are talking about mental health and suicide prevention in the lead up to the election. This is the first time we have seen such a level of public conversation at election time and it shows how far we've come.
But what are the parties actually saying about mental health and suicide prevention? Here's our at-a-glance guide.
As we say in the manifesto, at this stage, these are just words on a page. Words are not enough. We call on the Government to stand up and take urgent action to stop suicide and keep people alive.
P.S. Looking for a way to contribute before the end of the Financial Year? Check out our Tax Appeal and donate today.
National Suicide Prevention Conference Update
Pre Conference Workshop places filling up fast
The Program Advisory Committee of the 2016 National Suicide Prevention Conference - 'Connecting Culture, Context and Capabilities' - taking place 24 - 27 July at Hotel Realm, Canberra, is pleased to advise that four Pre-Conference Workshops will take place on Sunday 24 July, 10.30am - 1.00pm. These feature international and local expert facilitators presenting on:
  • Workshop A: The Continuum of Survivorship: Understanding and Helping Loss Survivors and Attempt Survivors
  • Workshop B: An Overview of the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)
  • Workshop C: Warning Signs for Suicide: Myth or Reality?
  • Workshop D: Public Speaking and Media for Lived Experience Spokespeople and Organisations Engaging Spokespeople.
Click here for information about these workshops. Please note that numbers are limited, so we recommend you register as soon as possible.
The full Conference program and further information is also available via the conference website and delegates can register online by clicking here.
Out of the Blue cast
CANBERRA: Invitation to General Public for Performance
We are delighted to announce an opportunity for members of the General Public to join National Suicide Prevention Conference delegates for a performance and panel discussion focused on how we speak about suicide, raising awareness in rural communities and how to more effectively encourage help seeking in men. Everyone is welcome, get your ticket to reserve a seat today!
Putting Research into Action

Understanding Exposure to, and Impact of, Suicide in Australia


We want your help to get every Australian resident to complete this National survey that will aim to reveal the exposure to, and impact of suicide in Australia. SPA and its members, in collaboration with Head Researcher, Professor Myf Maple, from the University of New England is conducting this project to better understand the magnitude of suicide in Australia. The purpose of this survey is to gain a clearer understanding of how individuals are affected by suicide, which may in turn better inform where funds and services are directed in suicide prevention. Complete the survey today and share it with your friends and colleagues.
Harnessing the voices of lived experience
Sharon Jones presenting at the 2015 National Suicide Prevention Conference


Engaging the community in lived experience
  • Congratulations to Lived Experience Network member, Sharon Jones, who is newly appointed co-chair for the National Mental Health Commission Advisory Group for Suicide Prevention. We were pleased to be able to offer recommendations to the Commission to ensure lived experience representation.
  • We are proud to have supported our friends at the Queensland Mental Health Commission put forward a Human Rights submission. Our contribution focused on appropriate language, inclusion of people with lived experience of suicide in prevention and consultative care.
  • The Central QLD Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN recently hosted a Suicide Prevention Workshop and LEN member and speaker, Tracey Gale, participated in the workshop and shared her lived experience story. Tracey has now been invited to attend the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Service Providers Forum on 19 July 2016 (hosted by the Central QLD Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN)
  • LEN member and speaker, Lisa Dean was interviewed for the RN Life Matters program to be aired this month. This followed her participation in a national news article.
  • We were pleased to see SPA Member Organisations SANE Australia and Wesley Lifeforce making the most of their member benefits by hosting trained speakers at recent events.
  • The Wagga Wagga SPAN (Suicide Prevention Australian Network) hosted LEN member Patrick Lawson on 16 May to talk about his lived experience and “3 words I need help” social media campaign.
Bringing Government, Business, NfPs and Individuals together
International Learning and Development
We cannot thank Ian Potter Foundation enough for enabling our team member, Kim, to spend time in the UK recently meeting with Governments, NFPs, alliances and individuals working in suicide prevention. She was honoured to be the first recipient of their International Learning and Development Grant.
The lessons she learned, specifically around stakeholder engagement and communications, have been invaluable; not to mention connections made that can now be strengthened to benefit SPA members and networks. Kim will report on findings and observations at the 2016 National Suicide Prevention Conference in Canberra in July. In the meantime, here is a link to her most read blog post on the trip “Somewhere between heartbreak and hope: Lived experience in suicide prevention”. At the end of this blog you will find links to the other posts in this series.
News and views
        Spotlight on: Community Support
        Thank you to all involved in the PPP4SPA 24 hr treadmill challenge
        VIDEO: SPA CEO Sue Murray says thank you!
        A big SPA shout out to everyone involved in PPP4SPA 2016. Plebs, pros and personalities kept the treadmills running for 24 hours in eight locations across Australia. A huge thank you to all the runners, volunteers, sponsors and supporters nationwide who stepped up to support Suicide Prevention Australia. A very special thank you to all our dedicated and passionate event organisers for making this event possible in Adelaide, Brisbane, Central Coast, Gold Coast, Logan, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
        We still have money coming in but, alongside invaluable awareness raised, we look to have raised in excess of $50k. This is just amazing, thank you! If you couldn't get to one of the events, you can still make a donation.
        Shout out to all community partners and fundraisers this month!
        As well as PPP4SPA, there have been a number of inspirational community events over the past month, including but not limited to the couple we've highlighted below. Our humble thanks to everyone who organised and supported:
        - Top Ten Books Night 2016 run by The Official Top Ten Night
        Coming up! Brushes of Hopes and Inspiration Charity Auction being held on 25 June in Cairns.
        What's new in the sector?
        Coming up in 2016: Lectures, Conferences, Symposiums and Events
        24-27 July
        Canberra, ACT
        11-12 August
        Gold Coast, QLD
        23-26 August
        Auckland, NZ
        National Suicide Prevention Conference
        Connecting Culture, Context and Capabilities
        17th International Mental Health Conference
        The MHS Conference 2016
        Opportunities to Participate: Research, Studies, Courses
        This section includes information about research projects that require participants, training opportunities and resources relevant to the sector. If you are interested or require additional information click through to the links provided.
        AISRAP (Australian Institute for Suicide Prevention)
        AISRAP opportunities to contribute to research can be found on their research website.
        Black Dog Institute
        Opportunities to be involved in bipolar research, diabetes management, an online self-help study, insomnia and many more on their research web pages.
        Contact Us:
        A: Level 1, 345 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000
        P: GPO Box 219, Sydney NSW 2001
        P: 02 9262 1130
        ABN: 64 461 352 676
        ACN: 164 450 882
        SPA membership opens the door for you to make a difference
        SPA is a not-for-profit organisation and so members play a vital role in fulfilling our mission and ensuring representation of the diverse experiences and views of Australians. By partnering with SPA, you are showing Australia that suicide is everyone’s business and visibly helping to challenge the stigma and misconceptions around suicide.
        We value all members and the contribution they make to reducing the impact of suicide. We also want to encourage the wider community to join in our efforts to halve suicide in 10 years.
        Learn more the SPA Membership Program.
        Support Suicide Prevention Australia by making a tax deductible donation:
        Community Fundraising is an excellent way to make a difference in your community. Visit the Suicide Prevention Australia Everyday Hero page and see what others are doing - or to set up your own page!