The Illawarra Mercury has been recognised with the national media award at the 16th Annual LiFE Awards honouring excellence in suicide prevention.
The Mercury was presented with the award at a gala dinner in Melbourne on Tuesday night for its Care To QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer campaign, which ran over the last half of 2018.
The Care to QPR campaign was run in conjunction with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative.
The award citation read in part: "The Illawarra Mercury ran the most significant suicide prevention media campaign ever undertaken in the Illawarra region.
The Mercury's approach to the campaign was compassionate, considerate, and collaborative.
"Throughout both the planning and rollout of the campaign, the Mercury collaborated with Mindframe, Suicide Prevention Australia, the Black Dog Institute and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative.
The Mercury were determined to ensure the campaign not only raised awareness of suicide as an important issue, but also translated that awareness into action.
"To do this, all articles promoted locally-available supports and encouraged community members to complete Question Persuade Refer (QPR) online suicide prevention training. Over the course of the campaign, 2,953 people have signed up for this training."
The awards dinner was held as part of of Suicide Prevention Australia's national conference in Melbourne.
The awards are a prestigious national event that attracts nominations from all areas including business, industry, media, community, government, youth research and medicine - all with an interest in suicide prevention.
Mercury editor Julian O'Brien and Head of News Lisa Wachsmuth were in Melbourne to accept the award.
"This award reflects the community spirit that exists in the Illawarra and the many people who came together to make this campaign possible, not least of which were Alex Hains and Emma Ringland from the Collaborative," Mr O'Brien said.
"Hopefully this will encourage more people and more media organisations to be QPR advocates in their communities. The campaign made a difference in our community, but there is still so much more to do. "
For support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.