Wesley Lifeforce Networks are community-driven local groups that identify and implement grassroots initiatives to prevent suicide.
Networks have a whole of government and population reach into at risk populations and communities. Wesley Mission supports more than 130 Networks nationally including in regional and remote Australia, with 85.4% of Network members identifying as having a lived experience of suicide.
In 2021 the University of Melbourne’s longitudinal analysis of data found the establishment of a Network initially reduces suicide rates by 17%; sustained at 7% over time. The analysis found other Network impacts include:
- increased awareness and understanding of suicide prevention issues
- increased community knowledge and awareness of support services
- increased community confidence and capacity to help someone at risk of suicide
- improved service linkages and access pathways
- reduced stigma regarding suicide which in turn facilitated help-seeking
- greater sense of community connection.