Strengthening community capacity and resilience

We are able to assist communities across Australia to build local capacity to:

  • coordinate and respond to the needs of individuals, families and their communities when a suicide or other traumatic incident occurs
  • provide bereavement through-care support to families and strengthen their access to coordinated care, and
  • identify and implement local suicide prevention and postvention activities to build the capacity of families and communities to prevent and better respond to traumatic incidents.

The communities we will work with:

  • have historical or emerging high suicide rates
  • are where we are providing support to families affected by suicide, and
  • are communities who have identified it as a priority to strengthen postvention support or work to reduce levels of suicide.

Working with local communities

Our community development approach seeks to work with local communities to build community capacity through:

  1. Developing a shared understanding of suicide locally of what is currently being done, and by whom. This involves meeting with Elders, key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, local services and government organisations.
  2. Creating a community dialogue of what can be done: Once there is a shared understanding of what the issues are in the community, we are able to meet with people to identify solutions that might be possible which could include:
  • developing a suicide response plan, defining the roles various local service providers will play if a suicide occurs
  • providing professional development programs or mentoring programs to support local health professionals provide suicide postvention support
  • developing peer-to-peer mentoring, education and/or leadership programs to develop capacity in providing a crisis response after a suicide and/or suicide prevention
  • examining ways to strengthen access to mental health support
  • developing programs to engage/divert young people and/or  connect them to culture, country or their Elders, or
  • addressing community challenges relating to poverty and other social determinants of health.
  1. Work with the community in developing community consensus and a Suicide Response and Prevention Plan prioritising action and the role community members / organisations will play. We will work with the community and local services to ensure the plan is sustainable and practical to implement, encouraging local organisations to play lead roles in the development and implementation of the plan.
  2. Promote the Suicide Response and Prevention Plan involving making the community and local service providers aware of the plan, and how they can be involved in its implementation.
  3. Supporting implementation of the plan: We will arrange for or provide training/resources/programs to support community members and local service providers build their capacity, in accord with the needs and priorities identified in the Suicide Response and Prevention Plan.

For further information about community capacity building

For further information about our community capacity building program our Community Capacity Building Officer Rachael Schmerl can be contacted on (08) 8273 7200 or