Words: Sheryl Rainbird
Congratulations to the Brighton Alive Network, which was deservedly awarded as joint winner of the Lifeline Tasmania Communities in Action for Suicide Prevention LiFE Award at the recent Tasmanian LiFE Awards. These awards are now in their seventeenth year and recognise the valuable contribution by individuals, communities, businesses and government in suicide prevention. This year there was a record 30 nominations for the LiFE Awards with eight in the Lifeline Tasmania Communities in Action for Suicide Prevention award.
Brighton Alive is a network of service providers and community members which is facilitated by Brighton Council. The group meets each month with the aim of building a strong and healthy future for Brighton.
In 2019 community members recognised the increase in suicidal behaviours and self-harm in our community and worked with Relationships Australia to create a Brighton Suicide Prevention Community Action Plan. Many community members and service providers were surveyed to identify local needs, skills and support shortages for the area, with the results being used to develop the community action plan.
This plan identified key activities of which the following been carried out in the last two years.
• Offer access to free Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) training on suicide prevention conversations to residents and service providers.
• Conducted an audit of rooms and spaces across the Brighton LGA to identify suitable spaces to offer to service providers on a regular basis to improve service delivery and equity.
• Created community fundraising activities to fund further mental health and suicide prevention programs for the community.
• Training provided for Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid and LGBTQIA+ Inclusive training.
• Engaging youth and LBGTQIA+ community members.
The other nominations in the Communities in Action for Suicide Prevention category were:
• PFlag Cygnet Community Hub
• Run for Tarkyn
• Cygnet Cares
• Stronger Together Group
• Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group
• Dorset Suicide Prevention Network
• Rural Alive and Well in partnership with Boots on the Ground
The other joint winner along with Brighton Alive in this category was PFlag – Cygnet Community Hub. Congratulations to all the worthy nominees.