NSW Government urged to use mental health nurses in new suicide prevention training program
Monday 7 November 2022
The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) supports the NSW Government partnering with LivingWorks Australia to train 200,000 parents to be mental health ‘first responders’ but would like to see qualified mental health nurses (MHNs) involved in delivering the program.
The LivingWorks Start online course will be promoted to parents through high school newsletters and social media pages this month with parents able to opt into the online suicide first-aid training course.
The self-paced 90-minute course covers how to recognise the signs someone may be thinking about suicide, how to ask directly about suicide, strategies of developing a safety plan and referring them to further help. This training will give parents the tools to intervene and save lives from suicide.
Empowering parents through suicide education has demonstrated to result in increased identification of young people at risk of suicide as well as increased referrals to services. The aim is to provide parents with the confidence in their ability to intervene and give support, with the eventual goal to see a reduced number of people dying of suicide.
“The College is fully supportive of mental health learning experiences with skilled trainers and a quality course programs,” ACMHN CEO Stephen Jackson said.
“Qualified MHNs could help deliver this training in a cost-effective way to support the approach of educating parents for suicide prevention,” Mr Jackson added.
As a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, ACMHN President Professor Michael Hazelton agrees that the training is necessary and would like it rolled out across the country with the involvement of MHNs.