Question, Persuade, Refer: We all have a role to play in preventing suicide in the Illawarra


We all have a role to play in preventing suicide.

Statistics tell us that most people would have come across someone they know at some stage doing it tough.

How do you approach that? What can you say?

“I'm not trained, it’s not my responsibility,” you say. Well, what if you were trained?

What if you knew how to have that difficult conversation or even just knew what to do if you didn’t feel comfortable with it.

The Illawarra Mercury and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative today launch our Care To QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer campaign.

We are asking the people in this community to take a lead role in tackling the higher than state average suicide rate in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven.

It’s our job as family, friends, colleagues and community members to help others. We all can take the lead in preventing suicide. You can help prevent suicide by looking out for your mates and those you are close to.

Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) training is a one-hour online course, which will help you recognise and confidently respond to warning signs for suicide.

Ordinarily there is a $10 licensing fee to the QPR Institute which has developed the training and module materials but with the help of the Member for Keira Ryan Park and the Minister for Health Brad Hazzard we have been able to offer the first 1000 places free for this community.

Take advantage of this opportunity by signing up at

The course will give you an appreciation and understanding of what you can do to help another human at a dire time of need. Just like our physical health, everyone’s mental health will vary during their life.

When you’re feeling down, taking action to call in extra support is the responsible thing to do and will help you take control of your mental health.

Our goal is to get 10 per cent of this community to become QPR Gatekeepers so that the odds are that someone contemplating suicide in our community will cross paths with someone who has undertaken the training. Please join us by being a beacon of light in this community.

If you’d like to talk to anyone about the issues raised in this article call Lifeline on 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 or MensLine 1300 789 978.