Campaign addresses barriers to suicide prevention

Focus group feedback showing low consumer awareness of local suicide prevention services and how to access them has prompted a new digital media campaign.

Brisbane North PHN developed the campaign as part of its local implementation of the Australian Government-funded National Suicide Prevention Trial (NSPT).

The campaign website – www.reasonstostay.com.au – provides information about accessing face-to-face services or telephone support in the Brisbane North region.

Chief Executive Officer Abbe Anderson said the campaign targets people who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing a suicidal crisis, and those who are concerned about a friend or family member.

“The Reasons to Stay campaign encourages people to reach out and start a conversation, so they can find their reasons to stay,” Ms Anderson said.

“This message complements other campaigns currently in circulation and highlights that you don’t need to be a health professional to start a conversation around suicide prevention,” she said.

The PHN ran community consultations in 2016 that showed:

  • the Brisbane North region lacked a clear pathway to follow for people experiencing a suicidal crisis, those who have made a suicide attempt or those who have been bereaved by suicide
  • health and other professionals in the region did not have a good understanding of the appropriate services to refer people
  • people experiencing suicidal crisis or who have made a suicide attempt often present to a hospital Emergency Department (ED) for help and support.

Ms Anderson said that while presenting to the ED was sometimes the right first step, consultations showed that EDs are not necessarily the best place for a person in crisis.

“By increasing local community knowledge of suicide prevention generally, specific suicide prevention services and resources available in the region, the Reasons to Stay campaign aims to guide people experiencing a crisis toward more appropriate longer-term support,” Ms Anderson said.

The Reasons to Stay campaign aligns with the NSPT-funded Yarns Heal campaign, targeting the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, and the Talking Helps campaign that is targeting the LGBTI population.

Visit www.reasonstostay.com.au to find out more.