September 2016 Lived Experience Network E-Newsletter

22 September 2016
21 September 2016
    We remember those we have lost to suicide and we acknowledge the suffering that suicide brings when it touches our lives.
    Our aim is to ensure that we provide for all people a future that inspires and empowers individuals and communities, and is filled with hope and meaning.
    What does a Lived Experience of Suicide mean?
    SPA defines Lived Experience as someone who has experienced suicidal thoughts, survived a suicide attempt, cared for someone who has attempted suicide, been bereaved by suicide, or having been touched by suicide in some other way.
    Involving Lived Experience in the development of services, programs and research:
    Suicide Prevention Australia's Lived Experience Network can be accessed when you are seeking input and advice from people with a lived experience of suicide. Call or write to see how the knowledge and wisdom of those with a lived experience of suicide can be engaged in the development of programs, services and research.
    Contact Us
    Suicide Prevention Australia
    GPO Box 219 Sydney NSW 2001
    02 9262 1130
    ABN: 64 461 352 676
    ACN: 164 450 882
    Support Suicide Prevention Australia by making a tax-deductible donation.
    To learn more about the Lived Experience Network visit the SPA website.
    Each year we see more community activities for both R U OK? Day (4th Thursday of September) and World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September) and 2016 saw a huge increase in events, especially in Queensland. More and more members of our communties are getting the opportunity to learn about suicide and suicide prevention which is so important to the prevention of suicide.
    As a member of the SPA team, I put my hand up to represent the organisation at a number of events throughout the year, especially during September for WSPD and R U OK? Day.
    I attended an R U OK? Day workplace event where two amazing guys, Dan Price and Sam Webb, shared their stories of how suicide impacted their life and how they have found the support and desire to live well. The event was well attended by both supporters of the two speakers as well as by people who work in the building that hosted the event.
    And on World Suicide Prevention Day I joined an Official Top Ten community event hosted by Ali and Liv Taylor. The “Top Ten of Everything for WSPD” was a great example of the WSPD theme of Connect, Communicate and Care.
    I also attended the Wesley LifeForce Memorial Service at the Sydney Opera House. I sat among friends and strangers who had lost family members, friends and work colleagues. I was privileged to hear SPA Ambassador Greg Van Borssum and trained speaker Wendy McWilliam share their lived experience of suicide and how each have found a way to make a difference. This event was also a catalyst for reflections on my own personal lived experience.
    These events only are a very small part of the hundreds of events that took place across Australia, and the world, all the the same theme - Connect, Communicate and Care.
    Take care everyone as we move into October for #MentalHealthMonth and for #MentalHealthWeek (visit your State or Territory's Mental Health Commission to learn about events in your local area).
    #MentalHealthWeek (8 to 15 October)
    #MentalHealthMonth (October)
    Tracy McCown
    Manager, Lived Experience Network.
    Download the research report on the Exposure and Impact of Suicide
    Many members of the Lived Experience Network participated in this research project and are therefore represented within the Understanding the Exposure and Impact of Suicide in Australia report as there were over 3,200 people who completed the survey. Download your copy the Report.
    On Friday 9 September a diverse group of individuals with lived experience joined SPA staff and Board members and our hosts, Lendlease, to share their thoughts of what needs to be done directly to Lucy Brogden, Commissioner, National Mental Health Commission. Each individual had an opportunity to address the Commissioner and express what they believe should be the priorities for the government.
    We thank everyone for contributing to what was an powerful and moving discussion.
    ABS 2015 Cause of death data to be released next week
    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has moved the release of its Causes of Death report forward to next week (28 September) – it is usually released annually in March. They are confident that by improving internal processes they are able to maintain the high quality of the data while providing earlier access to this important public health information.
    We know there has been a lot talk of suicide and suicide prevention in the media and on social media recently. With the release of the ABS report next week we anticipate this level of coverage continuing. While it is important to speak up, we wanted to recognise that this could bring up tough emotions for people, particularly those who have been impacted by suicide. We wanted to ensure you have advance warning of the information being shared so as to manage your own self care.
    SPA will be issuing a press release at the time of publication of the ABS report emphasising the need for Australia to match its prevention efforts and investment to the magnitude of the public health problem we face. We will also be reiterating the recommendations set out in the new research report we released last week on the exposure to and impact of suicide in this country.
    Free Webinar - Helping your teenager manage exam stress
    Date: Thursday 22 September 2016
    Time: 7.00pm to 8.00pm (AEST)
    Cost: Free!
    #ReachOutParents #Thereslifeafter
    You can also get some great tips for both teenagers and parents/families as well as a section on what to do if your teenager isn't coping. Visit
    NSW Suicide Prevention Fund for local suicide prevention initiatives
    Tender period for grant applications opens on 26 September
    At the last Budget, the NSW Government announced a new Suicide Prevention Fund of $8m over four years.
    The tender period is from 26 September, closing at 10am on Tuesday 25 October 2016.
    Grant applicants must show that their proposed suicide prevention activity aligns with one or more of LifeSpan’s nine evidence-based strategies and that it addresses the needs of one or more of the following high risk groups: people from rural and remote areas; Aboriginal people; people in contact with the criminal justice system; people with a mental illness; people with a history of a suicide attempt; people who use alcohol or drugs; people dealing with trauma; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people who identify as LGBTI; men; young people; older people; people bereaved by suicide.
    The Suicide Prevention Fund page on the NSW eTendering website is here. All queries must be directed to
    Brisbane North PHN: Consultation
    The Brisbane North PHN is seeking input, via the MyVoice Mental Health, Alcohol and other drug services engagement hub. On this occassion they are seeking input on low intensity mental health services.

    If you live in the Brisbane North PHN area this is an excellent way to contribute to the discussion to improve services in your local areal. Input is due by Monday 10 October 2016.
    What is Co-Design and why is it important?
    The Co-Design Initiative is a response to planned review and reforms for the mental health system, led by Primary Health Networks. The initiative has released a report in follow-up to several workshops recently held in Sydney and Melbourne. The ‘Co-Design Shared Perspectives on Authentic Co-design’ report provides a framework for the implementation of co-design projects in mental health. It provides an introduction to the principles and practices of co-design. The report aims to help groups and organisations to adopt a co-design approach in all aspects of mental health service redesign from the system level to service provision and daily practice. It is relevant to anyone who is interested in using authentic co-design practices to deliver improved mental health outcomes for all stakeholders.
    In addition to reading and getting a grasp of the ‘Co-Design Shared Perspectives on Authentic Co-design’ report you may also like to learn more about the group that auspiced the report, the Civil Society Australia
    When we talk about suicide we need to carefully consider the words we use
    The South Sydney Herald recently published an article that was penned by our very own Kim Borrowdale, Deputy CEO. Read and share the article to anyone you feel might find it helpful.
    You can also listen to the article here or, if you enjoy listening to podcasts follow Suicide Prevention Australia on iTunes.
    Secure a Speaker for Your Event
    The Suicide Prevention Lived Experience Speakers Bureau now has speakers trained and ready to accept speaking engagements in most capital cities (i.e., Melbourne, Cairns, Brisbane, etc.) and some regional areas.
    If you have an event and would like to consider hosting a speaker complete the online application or write to or call the office on 02 9262 1130 and speak with Tracy.
    Pictured: Alannah McGregor speaking at the CMN Suicide Prevention Forum, Melbourne, February 2016
    Contact Us
    Suicide Prevention Australia
    GPO Box 219 Sydney NSW 2001
    02 9262 1130
    ABN: 64 461 352 676
    ACN: 164 450 882
    Support Suicide Prevention Australia by making a tax-deductible donationdonation.
    To learn more about the Lived Experience Network visit the SPA website.