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LifeSpan launch: Newcastle named as first trial site

4 August 2016

Today, Newcastle was named as one of four trial sites for Australia’s largest integrated suicide prevention program roll-out in NSW.

LifeSpan, an evidence-based 'systems approach' to suicide prevention, was officially launched at Parliament House NSW this morning and involves the simultaneous implementation of nine strategies to reduce suicide. 

It was developed by researchers at Black Dog Institute and the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention (CRESP) in partnership with researchers, clinicians, community organisations, Indigenous health groups and people with lived experience of suicide and mental illness.

The Newcastle trial of LifeSpan is being led by the Hunter New England Local Health District on behalf of the Hunter Alliance.

The Hunter Alliance is a partnership between the four major health care providers in Newcastle, namely the Hunter New England Local Health District (including the Hunter Institute of Mental Health), Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECCPHN), Hunter Primary Care and Calvary Ltd.

Newcastle will be the first of four trial sites in NSW, with planning to commence in October 2016.

Hunter Institute of Mental Health Director, Jaelea Skehan says the LifeSpan trial is a great opportunity for the Newcastle community and our local services and networks are well placed to deliver a successful trial.

“Everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention, but action is most effective when it is planned and coordinated with a focus on the needs of the local community and drawing on the collective strengths of local agencies.

“The LifeSpan trial will build on work already occurring in Newcastle through the Hunter Suicide Prevention Collaborative, a group of local organisations led by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, which has been working together behind the scenes for the past three years,” said Jaelea.

More information about LifeSpan, including details of the nine strategies and the four trial locations, can be found at www.lifespan.org.au.

“The LifeSpan trial will build on work already occurring in Newcastle through the Hunter Suicide Prevention Collaborative, a group of local organisations led by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, which has been working together behind the scenes for the past three years.” 

Jaelea Skehan, Director, Hunter Institute of Mental Health

For interviews and media enquiries for the Newcastle trial site, please contact: