safeTALK to deliver suicide alertness training to the Shoalhaven

It’s something that we hope to never need but would be invaluable if we did – suicide alertness training. 

SafeTALK, a three-hour training program will be held in Shoalhaven Heads on Sunday, July 30. 

The course prepares helpers to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first-aid resources. It also helps people recognise, understand and relate to people who are at suicide risk.

Nowra’s Shannon Chittick took part in the course last year and said it gave her the confidence to know she can help anyone in need. 

“It helps you feel like you can do something, and really it’s not that hard to help someone when someone is in that place where they’re actually calling out for help,” she said. 

“It helped me be able to recognise that and to have skills to be able to talk to them and help them, and it gave me skills to be able to talk them through what’s going on.” 

SafeTALK is run by registered LivingWorks trainers and uses internationally standardised learning materials.

Shannon said the course is practical, easy to understand and has provided her with valuable knowledge to help those in need in her care. 

“The main reason I did the course was my sister and I run a soup kitchen on a Friday and we have a lot of people that come from stressful situations and they’re often talking with us and sharing things with us,” she said. 

“There’s been times when this skill has been very helpful in talking through with people, and I’m also a parent of teenagers and I know in our society generally there’s a rise of suicide rates, particularly amongst our young people so I just thought I’d like to have those skills in helping with my own kids or their friends.

“In our society I think everyone should have this skill because you just never know when you’re going to come across someone and you could save their life.”

Since its development in 2006, safeTALK has been used in more than 20 countries around the world. safeTALK-trained helpers are an important part of suicide-safer communities, working alongside intervention resources to identify and avert suicide risks.

The course will be delivered by Annette Tesoriero. Annette is an accredited Mental Health First Aid Trainer since 2006 and is accredited to deliver the LivingWorks SafeTALK workshop. 

She is also an experienced and professional workplace trainer with an extensive background in tertiary student services and community services. 

The course costs $15 per person and will be held at the Shoalhaven Heads Community Centre from 1pm to 4.30pm. To attend, contact Annette Tesoriero on 0416 723 893 or email [email protected]

Find more information on SafeTALK here

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