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Ready, willing and able to have THAT conversation: A conversation for life


Harris, M and Mendoza, J, Ready, willing and able to have THAT conversation: A conversation for life, 15th International Mental Health Conference, 25-27 August, Gold Coast, Australia ISBN 978-1-922232-16-8 (2014) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

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Suicide prevention is a factor of well-being. It is always contextual and it is always personal. Sadly, it is more easily identified and labelled as suicide prevention when a crisis occurs and urgent intervention is required. By then the task for a bystander is more difficult, the burden more severe and the responsibility more acute. For any individual, even those with professional qualifications in health and medical fields, this is onerous.

The causes of suicide are complex and vary among individuals and across age, cultural, racial and ethnic groups. Suicide risk is influenced by an array of factors sociological, psychological, environmental, cultural and biological. Nonetheless, this complexity masks the reality that almost all people who attempt or complete suicide had one or many more warnings signs before their death. Research demonstrates that a large proportion of the population remain poorly informed in regard to suicide risk. They are unable to talk about suicide or suicidality and cannot read-the-signs of someone who is suicidal and trying to communicate their sense of hopelessness.

Suicide prevention initiatives should be multi-modal and complementary, targeting a wide range of at-risk and high-risk groups. Within the Lifeboat suite, Conversations for Life provides the skills and resources to understand, enhance and respond to challenges to wellbeing, and assist others. In the context of the Conversations for Life program, this is about reducing risk and increasing protection in a community.

The Conversations for Life training program provides an introduction to the issues surrounding poor mental health and suicide and awareness of individual and general community attitudes. It provides resources to identify suicide risk, and communication skills for crucial conversations. It informs community resources and networks, and enables better support people who may be experiencing a personal crisis.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:suicide prevention, early intervention, prevention, conversations, community wellbeing
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Harris, M (Dr Martin Harris)
ID Code:97869
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2015-01-19
Last Modified:2015-03-05

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