Building suicide prevention capacity in the Goldfields

Following a busy year of stakeholder engagement, asset mapping, data analysis, and collaborations with priority populations; the Black Dog Institute’s Suicide Prevention Capacity Building Program has now come to a completion in the Goldfields.

The journey started with a regional, grass roots led need to develop a more strategic approach to mental health and suicide prevention activities across the large footprint area of the Goldfields. Communities recognised the need to support each other and to share a common language and vision on how best to sustain a system-based approach for suicide prevention across the region.

WA Primary Health Alliance partnered with the Black Dog Institute and Hope Community Services, which employs a suicide prevention coordinator funded by the Western Australian Mental Health Commission, to implement the program in the Goldfields. The Black Dog Institute’s Suicide Prevention Capacity Building Program is an initiative of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

The first program workshop commenced September 2023 and wrapped up in February 2024. An EOI process resulted in identifying 28 unique participants to commence the program with 92 people attending the five workshops. This represented a cross section of communities across the region’s including Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Esperance, Leonora, Laverton and Wiluna Regional representation came from many industries including NGOs, Education, Health, Lived Experience, Community organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders.

Key themes discussed throughout the program workshops were lived experience, young people, and access to data. The programs participants created strong bonds and confidence to develop a clearer understanding on what is needed to address mental health /suicide prevention problems in the region.

‘The training has given participants skills to identify opportunities, challenge and strengthen existing protocols for a more sustainable strategy for the Goldfields region’ said a participant following the completion of the program.

Program participants are now working on Terms of Reference to support a new regional strategic collaboration. It is hoped  this new collaborative will take the learnings from the Suicide Prevention Capacity Building Program and continue working towards delivering better mental health outcomes for Goldfields communities.

Participants enjoying the last Suicide Prevention Capacity Building Program workshop in Kalgoorlie.