In mid-June WayAhead went to Orange as part of the Collective Purpose Speaker Series. The event was a joint effort between the Collective Purpose partners, WayAhead, NSW Mental Health Carers and Being and the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) based in Orange.
More than 50 locals braved the cold winter evening in Orange and joined us at Orange Public School to discuss the events main theme of how suicides in rural areas can be prevented by empowering local communities to take prevention measures, which in part is articulated well in CRRMH’s recently released position paper.
“It was really great to go to Orange and meet with the local community to hear directly from them what their experiences have been and what they believe are the solutions which will work in their town to prevent more people dying from suicide.
“Obviously we could not have done this event alone and the work of the CRRMH team was phenomenal and we are deeply thankful for all their time and efforts helping us put the Speaker Series event on,” said WayAhead CEO Elizabeth Priestley.
Some of the main talking points from attendees at the event centred on the need for the local community to be involved in every step to create a solutions driven approach. It was the view of those attending that a local strategy needed to be created to solve local problems and that a state or even national approach would fail to get buy-in from local communities. It was stressed that any future prevention strategy would fail if it wasn’t designed around the needs of the local community and received high levels of engagement from locals when being designed.
“To demonstrate this commitment, WayAhead and its Collective Purpose partners will be seeking to extend its working relationship with CRRMH throughout 2018 and beyond. We know that collaboration is key in working in regional and rural areas of the state and we see our role as supporting the great work many mental health organisations such as CRRMH are doing on the ground every day, not replicating it,” said Ms Priestley.
The Rural Suicide and its prevention Speaker Series event in Orange was recorded and can be viewed in full for free HERE.
By Ben Graham