A CENTRAL Victorian suicide prevention organisation is piloting a new role within Melbourne’s north-west.
Hope Assistance Local Tradies has received funding and support for a six-month trial of a suicide prevention community worker, whose efforts will especially target men in the vicinity of Melton and Brimbank.
HALT will work with North West Melbourne Primary Health Network to deliver the initiative.
The role aims to link men and the community in with local and national support services.
“A HALT worker, I’m envisaging, would be someone in the community that knows that community, that can do events at hardware stores, can to go to the job sites to talk to the tradies there, can do do events in site sheds, events at men’s sheds, sporting clubs on Tuesday or Thursday nights after training,” Jeremy Forbes, HALT’s founder, said.
He believed engaging men with the supports available in their communities and breaking down the barriers to help-seeking was ‘so needed’, and was hopeful the model would be further adopted.
Murray PHN chief executive Matt Jones said targeted approaches to suicide prevention were needed, and assisting hard-to-reach population groups was a priority.
The largest rise in suicide rates of any age group was recorded in men aged 45 – 55.
Mr Jones said Murray PHN was continuing to explore a range of opportunities to increase the focus on suicide prevention within the community, including discussions with HALT.
HALT has recently had discussions with federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, who last month announced funding was available for projects targeting areas including mental health via its $1.25-billion Community Health and Hospitals Program.
In an emergency, call 000.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.