The Illawarra Hawks have become the latest beacons of hope in our community in the fight against suicide.
On Tuesday morning at the Snakepit, the Illawarra Hawks were trained in QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer on how to approach and assist someone who may be contemplating suicide.
The Hawks are the latest to join the #care2qpr campaign which was started through a partnership of the Illawarra Mercury and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative. Since the campaign was launched, thousands of people in the community have undertaken QPR training in the hope of combating suicide which continues to be one of the biggest causes of death in the region.
“The most effective way for us to reduce the number of suicide deaths across the country is to change how we approach it culturally,’’ Dr Alex Hains, regional manager of the collaborative, said.
“Sport being such a central part of our culture, sporting clubs play a critical role in the way we have that conversation and particularly because a lot of fellas are dying by suicide and a lot of sporting clubs become a quasi family for men who may not be comfortable talking to anyone else, it may be an opportunity for team-mates to talk to them.
“In the same way the club supports them to perform well on the field, a really quick training that’s evidence based around reducing suicide deaths and helping them talk to each other about how they’re coping emotionally is important in helping them cope off the field.
“We know off the field wellbeing translates to on the field performance.”
Thanks to a grant from the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, secured by the Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones, more than 700 licences for online training are available free now for people who would like to become QPR advocates.
To secure one of the free online QPR training licenses, visit www.suicidepreventioncollaborative.org.au/QPR
If you’d like to talk to anyone about the issues raised in this article call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
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