EXPERIENCED Queensland Health professional Leah Christie will visit Killarney next Tuesday for a morning tea aimed at uniting the community for suicide prevention.
Run by the Southern Downs Suicide Prevention Group and headspace, the suicide prevention and healing support group morning tea aims to offer support to those who require space to grieve as well as those at risk.
Having worked as a mental health nurse for 20 years, Ms Christie is now representing Queensland Health as a regional adversity integrated care clinician, working with communities and health teams to educate and enhance awareness about referral pathways.
“It’ll cover how to recognise signs and symptoms of someone experiencing suicidal thoughts and what you can do to help that person,” she said.
Ms Christie said there were unique challenges that befell communities in rural areas.
“There’s still a stigma around mental illness and suicide,” she said.
“Rural people on properties may feel more disconnected from their community because they may be out in the middle of nowhere.
“There’s also a reluctance to seek assistance.”
Building resilient communities is a key focus of Ms Christie’s work.
“Suicide is everybody’s business,” she said.
“If you observe something, it’s about asking ‘what’s your responsibility?’”
Headspace Warwick will deliver a presentation about the early warning signs of suicidal thinking, while counsellor and mental health social worker Lenore Neville will also share grounding and calming techniques.
“From the point of view of when people have experienced loss or are coping with loss or difficulties, they have a way to reconnect with themselves and calm themselves,” Mrs Neville said.
“They’re techniques that can be helpful as grounding, as general stress management and also helping with concentration and settling before sleep.”
There will also be music and dancing from Indigenous performers.
The session will be held at Killarney Community Centre from 9am.
Morning tea will be provided by Killarney senior citizens.
If you or someone you know needs help contact lifeline 131114 or beyondblue 1300224636.
This piece by Elyse Wurm was oringally seen on ‘Warwick Daily News’ July 8 2017.