Communities in Action for Suicide Prevention LiFE Award was awarded to joint winners, Brighton Alive, and to PFLAG Cygnet Community Hub community
The Brighton Alive Network is a collaboration between the Brighton Council and the community, with the goal to build a strong and healthy future for Brighton, Tasmania. In recognising the increasing suicidal behaviours occurring in the area, a Brighton Suicide Prevention Community Action Plan was created in late 2019. This plan focused on the needs, skills and support shortages that were identified through community consultation. The consultation highlighted the need to increase accessibility to service providers, increase mental health and suicide prevention training in the community, and increase engagement with youth and LGTBQI+ community members.
The plan has seen improvements in the key areas identified, with more training now being offered, advertised and fundraised for, more rooms and spaces being offered to service providers to practice from, and the creation of the Pride event “Under One Rainbow” which collaborated with the Colour Run initiative, and saw over 100 people attend, and an overwhelming number of expressions of interest coming in to enter the next Under the Rainbow event.
The Cygnet Community Hub is a grassroots, community led, volunteer run initiative which arose as a response to the increasing number of suicides in the area. Community consultations enabled a public dialogue around suicide prevention and the highlighted the need for a central community spot. The Hub is a drop-in centre for the rapidly growing wider Cygnet Community, with an open-door policy for anyone who needs to talk. The Hub focusses on health promotion, social connection and inclusion, and service referral. Trained volunteers are always available to help those in the community in crisis, then referring them to appropriate services, while mentors are also available to help people connect with their local community to help combat social isolation.
The Hub run a variety of events focused on mental health and suicide prevention, such as holding regular markets which they use as a platform to promote mental wellbeing, and running a community garden. The Hub also runs a community pantry, offers transport assistance and teaches older community members how to use the internet.