Using an evidence-based approach to suicide prevention, the Collaborative aims to build a culture where, rather than working in silos, people and organisations are committed to playing their role in a genuine collaboration. Together, we have a shared mission to reduce suicides in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.
The Collaborative has two ‘backbone’ staff based in Wollongong. Other Collaborative members contribute their insights and skills via the various working groups, at monthly meetings, or by supporting and advocating for suicide prevention efforts out in the community. Meetings, events and training take place across the region, from Wollongong to Kiama to Nowra.
Anyone is welcome to join the Collaborative, and the growing diversity of our membership echoes the need for a whole-of-community approach. All members have an equal say, and all contributions are respected and welcome. We want everyone in the community to understand the role they can play in suicide prevention, and have the confidence and skills to do so.
Before undertaking any work or activities, the Collaborative looks at the evidence – both the evidence for what’s needed, and the evidence for what will successfully address those needs. We consult the suicide prevention literature, as well as the practical wisdom of our local communities and the expertise of people with lived experience of suicide.
The meaningful inclusion of people with lived experience underpins all that we do. We’ve achieved this by having people with lived experience participating in and leading activities such as the Safe Space working group. Our lived experience members have also attended training and events such as the Roses in the Ocean - Our Voice in Action workshop, the National Suicide Prevention Conference 2019, and the Lived Experience Summit 2018.