What are we working on?



Since 2016, the Collaborative has been implementing the LifeSpan approach across the Illawarra Shoalhaven, as one of four trial site regions in NSW. LifeSpan is a new, evidence-based, integrated approach to suicide prevention that combines nine strategies that have strong evidence for suicide prevention into one community-led approach.

LifeSpan has formed the basis of our work over the past two years and we’d like to say a massive thank you to the Black Dog Institute for supporting us.

Moving forward, whilst we will continue to implement the LifeSpan framework, we have also started working on other areas recognised as priorities for our members, such as non-clinical supports and postvention.

Find out more about what we are working on below.

What we're working on

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Towards Zero Suicides initiatives

The Collaborative is working with the ISLHD & the PHN to implement three of the Towards Zero Suicides initiatives:

  1. Zero suicides in care
  2. Safe Spaces
  3. Assertive Suicide Prevention Outreach Teams

Local co-design will determine the shape of these initiatives. Click here to find out more & express interest in getting involved.

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Engaging the community

We're working to change the culture of avoiding conversations about suicide through community campaigns.

Illawarra Hawks

Training the community

Everyone is in a position to help those around them when they know what to do. We're actively promoting training that helps build the skills to help someone in crisis. We’re working with local organisations and individuals to train as many people as we can.

Where to get help

Know where to go for support

It’s so important to know where to get help when we, or someone we know, need it most.

We are working on videos and resources to help spread the word that help is available locally.

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Working in schools

Schools are an important place for promoting mental health, resilience and help-seeking among young people.

Over the last two years, we have been rolling out the Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) program with Year 9 students across the region.

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Supporting people after crisis

To prevent suicide deaths, we must ensure people who attempt suicide receive support as soon as possible.

Collaborative members Grand Pacific Health, Flourish Australia, South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation, and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, are working together to support people during the transition from hospital to the community, via the Next Steps Aftercare Service.


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Evidence-based treatment

Access to excellent mental health treatment represents an important strategy for suicide prevention. We are working to support clinicians to provide evidence-based care.

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Equipping primary care

Many people experiencing suicidality visit their doctor in the weeks or days before suicide. Equipping general practices with the skills and resources to identify and support people in distress is one of the most promising interventions for reducing suicide.

Collaborative member, COORDINARE, is helping GPs undertake universal screening so they can identify people who may not have asked for help otherwise.

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Setting up Safe Spaces

Safe Space is an umbrella term referring to non-clinical, peer-led supports for people in suicidal crisis. We're working to set up a mix of Safe Space supports for our region including peer support groups, a warm line, drop-in spaces and peer respites.

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Those who are bereaved by suicide are at higher risk of suicide themselves. Improving supports available for people and communities affected by a suicide death is a big priority for the Collaborative.

Our postvention for families and schools working groups are both working on this. 


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Aboriginal suicide prevention

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) has released recommendations and resources we are using to help guide local suicide prevention activities.