Grapevine Group proudly announced three new safeTALK trainers to bolster their suicide prevention arsenal.

Tania Leeson, Gerri Kissner and Barry Scoble recently completed the course to qualify as certified safeTALK trainers.

Mrs Leeson, a Community Development Officer specialising in mental health for the Mackay Regional Council said safeTALK is a game changer.

“It’s an opportunity that council is excited to be involved with.
“We want to see as many residents as possible know where to find local help and possess the skills to support colleagues and loved ones,” Mrs Leeson said.

Mrs Leeson will be able to provide training in community halls and libraries to the public and to council staff throughout the Mackay region.

For Gerri Kissner, suicide prevention is about reading the tell-tale signs.

“Knowing how to recognise signs that someone has thoughts of suicide and how to help, is something everyone in the community should learn.

“By attending a safeTALK workshop, people can help to lower the rate of suicide in their community. “Everyone can contribute and by being a safeTALK trainer I can help spread the word,” Miss Kissner said.

And as a mining supervisor Barry Scoble believes the key to reducing stigma and the number of attempts from suicide is education.

“It is important for the mining industry to get the word out about suicide prevention especially with camp life having such an impact on men and women away from home.

“I’m part of my wife Sonya’s MAD Cow Coffee team and through the work she does with suicide awareness we’re giving back to the community as a legacy to our son who we lost to suicide.

“Thanks to this training, I am able to help get even more awareness out there after attending the course,” Mr Scoble said.
Debbie Knight Grapevine President was chuffed to add the three new safeTALK trainers to the fight against suicide.

“It’s important Grapevine keeps pace with demand and we’re delighted to have three more trainers available to deliver group safeTALK training to organisations during the day.

“All of our trainers have undergone LivingWorks training and Grapevine is incredibly grateful for these volunteers who nominate to do this training. The support we have received towards this work is humbling—it’s testament to the strong community spirit in the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions,” Ms Knight said.

Grapevine Group is urging those who have already completed the suicide prevention training to spread the word to let others know how valuable it is.

The aim is to get more people through the training and make the community as safe as possible by being able to identify someone at risk of suicide, have the ability to talk to someone experiencing suicidal thoughts and, finally, guide that person to resources.

Free training is available for individuals and groups. Group safeTALK sessions are available to be delivered at workplaces, sports or community organisations.

For local help or to sign up for safeTALK, download the Grapevine Group app or go to www.grapevinegroup.org.au

Photo L to R: Tania Leeson, Barry Scoble and Gerri Kisser.