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Recognising and responding to youth suicide

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


The Hunter Institute of Mental Health is set to present and facilitate four workshops supporting “youth suicide conversations” this week for more than 200 NSW staff who work with young people.

As part of the Research into Practice sessions organised by Family and Community Services (FACS), Hunter Institute Director Jaelea Skehan and two staff will travel to Sydney tomorrow to present on recognising and responding to suicide in young people, with a particular emphasis on having conversations about suicide.

Over 245 people from FACS, and non-government organisations supporting young people across New South Wales, have already registered to attend the sessions.

Following a presentation by Jaelea, attendees will move to workshop sessions being facilitated by the Hunter Institute and Department of Forensic Medicine. The topics for the workshop are:

  • Talking with adolescents at risk of suicide (two sessions)
  • Talking with adolescents following a suicide attempt
  • Supporting young children, siblings and families following a suicide

These sessions will build on recent work of the Hunter Institute in suicide prevention, including Conversations Matter and the way back resources.

Director of the Hunter Institute Jaelea Skehan said, “Conversations about suicide with young people can be challenging, and while it is important to understand the risks, we also need to make sure we are not ‘too afraid’ to talk about suicide.

“It is a great opportunity to run sessions with such a large number of people who are committed to suicide prevention and supporting young people across New South Wales,” she added.

 The Hunter Institute also held training held last week with youth workers and FACS staff as part of the Combined Youth Interagency meeting in the Hunter region.

To view the Conversations Matter resources click here

To find out about the way back resources click here

If you or an organisation wish to find out more about working with the Hunter Institute regarding Conversations Matter contact Alexandra Culloden via or on (02) 4924 6932