Locals undergo training with suicide prevention program

Cobar’s Braith Good, Charmaine Arnold and Gina Martin were among a group of 15 students who recently completed a Certificate IV in Community Services.

Three Cobar students were among a group of 15 graduates who last week celebrated the completion of their Certificate IV in Community Services.

The students were on scholarships provided by the Western NSW Primary Health Network’s (WNSW PHN) Workforce Capacity Building Project.

As part of the Commonwealth Government’s National Suicide Prevention Trial, and delivered in conjunction with Western Plains Regional Development Centre (WPRD) and VERTO, the project was initiated by WNSW PHN to address the workforce shortage of people with skills and qualifications to undertake suicide prevention roles in our region’s rural and remote communities.

In addition to this year’s 15 Certificate IV Graduates, a further seven have enrolled for the next Certificate IV course, while 13 others will move into the new Diploma of Community Services.

This means that residents from each of the program’s six Suicide Prevention Trial sites of Cobar, Condobolin, Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett and Lightning Ridge, and Grenfell will be participating in the training.

WNSW PHN CEO, Andrew Harvey, said such training opportunities are vital for the continued development of a local workforce with qualifications and a passion for improving the mental health and well-being of the communities in which they live.

“WNSW PHN is proud to be providing scholarship funding for this initiative, and I encourage everybody with an interest in learning about suicide prevention and mental health awareness to take advantage of the opportunities that are on offer,” Mr Harvey said.

“The inclusion of this project by the Centre for Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention at the University of Western Australia for inclusion in its Best Practice Manual is testament to its effectiveness and symbolic of WNSW PHN’s drive to deliver real improvements for our region.”

Cobar’s Jody McCabe has also successfully gaining another scholarship under the WNSW PHN program to complete her Diploma in Community Services.

“This will give me greater skills to apply in a case management role in my community.

“If you have a passion for supporting others in your community this is a great opportunity to start your journey into a successful
career in Community Services,” Ms McCabe said.