CEO of Central Queensland Rural Health Sandra Corfield said the plan was all about skills, policy and resources.
CEO of Central Queensland Rural Health Sandra Corfield said the plan was all about skills, policy and resources. Julia Bartrim

Suicide prevention plan moves a step closer after workshop

ABOUT 30 people, representing a broad cross-section of the community, attended a Suicide Prevention Plan workshop in Gladstone yesterday.

Sandra Corfield, CEO of Central Queensland Rural Health, presented the workshop and said it was great to see members of the community from as far afield as Miriam Vale and Turkey Beach attending as well as representatives from front-line services like ambulance officers and mental health workers.

"I think there's a greater understanding and a commitment to working together across the community to address suicide," she said towards the end of the workshop.

Ms Corfield said it was important the community started "having the conversations about looking after our mental health and looking out for people who are struggling and getting them to the support early".

She said the workshop, which was one of several held around the region, will inform a Suicide Prevention Plan, the draft of which should be completed by the end of the month.

Eva Walker, who works with GPs as part of her role with CQ Rural Health, was at the workshop. "Many clients don't initiate discussing their mental health problems with GPs."

Ms Walker said it was her role to step in to assist, by assessing clients with mental health issues, and then sending her recommendations to the GP in a report.

Eva will take the suicide prevention plan to GPs when it's finalised and said it could mean more mental health nurses for GP practices.

"GPs are asking for more information," she said.

"They don't have enough time to spend with clients, so it has been beneficial for mental health nurses to be around the GPs."

CQRH was funded to deliver the workshops by Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network.



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