A legion of ‘Gatekeepers’ is to be created to train more than 10,000 volunteers in suicide prevention in NSW’s high-risk populations and industries.
Announced by the Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor, the Gatekeeper training is the first initiative of the State’s Towards Zero Suicides Premier’s Priority, receiving $2.8 million over three years.
Mrs Taylor said Gatekeepers played a critical role in community-based suicide prevention because they helped connect workmates, friends and family to professional support.
“We know that over 40 per cent of people who die by suicide have not reached out for professional support,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Gatekeeper training gives people the skills to recognise the signs that someone is at risk of suicide and the confidence to start a conversation with them about how to access support,” she said.
“Rural Fire Service (RFS) staff are being prioritised to receive Gatekeeper training given the nature of their work and the confronting scenes they deal with.”
Mrs Taylor said the program would also target other high-risk populations, including female apprentices in construction; family lawyers; Aboriginal communities; men between 18 and 35 years; veterinarians; and LGBTI communities.
She said Gatekeeper training would be provided by 13 organisations with expertise in engaging specific at-risk communities.
Further information on the Gatekeeper program can be accessed on the NSW Health website at this PS News link.