News and events
The most up-to-date LifeSpan news and event information.
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National Suicide Prevention Trials extended
With the government's announcement extending the National Suicide Prevention Trials being supported by the Black Dog Institute, Scientia Professor Helen Christensen provides insight into how this will expand suicide prevention research in Australia.
National Suicide Prevention Trial Workshop
Implementation co-ordinators from National Suicide Prevention trial sites all across Australia met in Sydney this week to discuss challenges and potential opportunities within suicide prevention approaches.
Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) Training
Black Dog and LifeSpan hosted a YAM training week in Sydney in December. Eight instructors from Sweden and the USA came to train 32 facilitators from NSW, South Australia and Western Australia in the YAM program. YAM is being delivered to all Year 9 students in mainstream public high schools and as many independent and Catholic schools as possible in our four NSW trial sites as part of the LifeSpan systems approach to suicide prevention. LifeSpan is also working to make YAM available to Commonwealth trial sites.
Young people can be particularly vulnerable to mental health problems, self-harm or suicide. Schools are keen to support their students but often don’t know how to choose quality programs or integrate programs with other student wellbeing activities and referral pathways. YAM is designed to raise awareness about suicidality and the factors that protect against it. It works by improving mental health literacy and explicitly teaching the skills necessary for coping with adverse life events and stress, so that young people get help before reaching crisis point. YAM has the strongest evidence-base of school programs reviewed including the best outcomes specific to suicidal behaviour, and the flexibility to be integrated into many school environments.
Participants were drawn from the NSW Department of Education, Catholic Education Wollongong, SA and WA Education Departments, as well as a range of independent providers. Instructors have professional expertise in schools, as counsellors, wellbeing advisors or teachers, as well as expertise in the community as youth workers, clinicians, and community mental health presenters. These diverse professional backgrounds lead to two dynamic groups filled with exchange of experiences and opinions.
The Black Dog Institute has a close collaboration with Mental Health in Mind (MHiM), the developers of the YAM program, and we look forward to continuing the partnership and uptake of YAM in Australia.