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Welcome-To-Skills-For-Life

Corporate branding research has established that Lifeline has a 96% brand recognition, much of which has been earned from the 24/7 Lifeline Telephone Crisis Support Service 131114, and our recycle shops. Another strong component of Lifeline's place in the Australian community is specialised training, not only the training course to join our crisis telephone support service, but also the suite of skills-for-life-training programs.

Our agency’s twin missions of providing skills in crisis support and suicide prevention, alongside strategies to care-for-carers, are woven into our highly complementary range of deliverables. Being skilled to acutely and astutely listen to someone (ACCIDENTAL COUNSELLOR FOUNDATIONS) may enable a frontline worker or caregiver to better recognise domestic violence (DV-ALERT, DV-AWARE, OPENING DOORS), a mental health problem (MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID), or risk of suicide (safeTALK, MIND YOUR MATES, ASIST), all the while being mindful of self-care (CREATIVE THERAPY TOOLS, mindfulness @ work). That is the reason this range of training is dubbed skills-for-life.

Unlike other training, this type of participation keeps on giving well after completion of the workshop.
As one participant told us, “I have been to everything you have to offer. Can’t get enough of what you do.

Accidental Counsellor Foundations
Basic Skills For Dealing With People in Crisis

Ever had to step into the shoes of The Accidental Counsellor?

The Accidental Counsellor Workshop will provide you with necessary skills and tools to be able to step into the shoes of an accidental counsellor momentarily, respond appropriately, efficiently and effectively to people in crisis or distress when there may not be a professional immediately available.

In community services work, we may often be the first point of contact for someone in crisis needing immediate assistance. Even without a formal qualification in counselling, a toolbox of counselling techniques and questioning frameworks provides the necessary support to clients when they are anxious, angry, experiencing loss or in a challenging time in their life.

Participants gain a greater understanding of how to communicate more effectively and learn strategies to help foster effective and trusting relationships with clients or peers. In this workshop, we ask participants to reflect on personal values and beliefs and how they influence interactions with clients. How you respond will create an impact on the person in need of support or assistance and often determine the outcome of your interactions. The workshop is flexible and interactive, encouraging participants to ask questions, share their experiences, practise skills and engage in self-reflection.

2 Day Workshop

  • Module 1 The Accidental Counsellor
  • Module 2 Barriers to listening
  • Module 3 Values and beliefs
  • Module 4 Understanding emotional crisis
  • Module 5 Understanding conflict
  • Module 6 Dealing with behaviours of concern
  • Module 7 Professional boundaries
  • Module 8 Self-care

1 Day Condensed Workshop

If you can’t take 2 days to attend the extended version, you need not miss out!

Our 1-day condensed workshop is an abbreviated version of our telephone crisis support training and covers active listening skills, communication techniques and so much more.

  Workshop Outcomes

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate between effective communication and counselling
  • Gain toolbox of counselling techniques
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Adopt questioning frameworks
  • Recognise someone in crisis needing immediate assistance
  • Support clients when they are anxious, angry or using challenging behaviour
  • Reflect on personal values and beliefs and how they can get in the way of good listening
  • Be ethical when dealing with sensitive information
  • Be able to set boundaries and limits yet still maintain an appropriate level of involvement
  • Appreciate the importance of debriefing and caring-for-you-as-carer after emotionally-charged interactions
  • Share experiences, practise skills and engage in self-reflection
View available dates on the Training Calendar
Accidental Mediator

Accidental Mediator

Ever had to step into the shoes of an accidental mediator?

Conflict and difficult conversations are best dealt with in the early phases and yet that is most commonly not how things happen.  We often try to avoid, pretend we don’t notice, we collude or we simply don’t know how to support the healthy resolution of a situation.

The Accidental Mediator 1-day workshop is about ability and skill to step into disagreements, disputes and conflict with wisdom, clarity and confidence.

At the end of the day you will:

  • Know the basic mediation principles to support others in conflict
  • Have the key skills necessary for holding a difficult conversation
  • Have skills for calming yourself and others down
  • Be able to identify what keeps you from having the difficult conversation and a technique to overcome those challenges
  • Understanding what conflict is and how it affects us.

When disputes or conflict are not addressed, they tend to fester. In the workplace, that may lead to time off work, stress, general dissatisfaction and grumpiness.  It also tends to drag down a team, as the preoccupation is with the conflict.  When we are in conflict we are not our wisest self.

The Accidental Mediator is about how we avoid difficult and challenging interpersonal situations. You will gain insight into how you tend to respond in conflict and why, then what you can do to break that pattern.  Whether at the office or at home, skills to calm a situation, to deliver a difficult message or to have confidence to take that difficult conversation are useful.

Call Dr June Anderson for bookings, 02 4940 2000 or book and pay online.

View available dates on the Training Calendar
Case Study - A Call to Action

State Debt Recovery Office

The State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) is the fines division of the New South Wales Office of State Revenue operating call centres at Maitland, Parramatta and Lithgow. These offices are responsible for the receipt and processing of fines and debt collection issued by various government agencies and authorities, and administering the fine enforcement system for the collection of unpaid fines.

The distress of many callers and the need to equip call staff motivated the development of a partnership between the SDRO and Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter.

"A Call to Action" was designed to train and empower SDRO staff in the appropriate responses and to assist in keeping the callers with thoughts of suicide safe. Participants learned to recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide and respond in ways that help increase immediate safety and link the person to further help.

A total of 234 staff completed suicide prevention training: 2-day LivingWorks ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Training) to 36 Managers and Supervisors; 4-hour LivingWorks safeTALK to 198 call centre staff; 1- day Accidental Counsellor Training to all staff. A total of 468 training units were delivered over six months and continues to be delivered during each intake/induction round.


Comments from participants:

"It was great and has made me more aware of how to deal with someone at risk of suicide."

"Great course, great trainers and powerful knowledge imparted to me."

"Thank you for opening my eyes to the signs – so important."

"I was really impressed with this course – it has really made me more aware."

"Thank you for an amazing two days and a potentially life changing experience."



Was this training successful?

Managers and supervisors were asked before training commenced, What training in helping a person at risk of suicide have you had before? Twenty-eight said none at all, one said one day, and seven said up to three hours. They were then asked, at the beginning of training how prepared do you feel to help a person at risk increase their suicide safety? Eighteen responded that they were not prepared at all, eighteen believed that they were party prepared, but no-one thought that he or she was mostly or well-prepared.

On completion of training, the 36 managers and supervisors were asked the question again, and the response was the inverse of the pre-training responses: none were not or partly prepared, eighteen were mostly prepared, and eighteen felt well-prepared to help a person at risk increase suicide safety. Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter and the State Debt Recovery Office have together created a workforce that is ready, willing and able to respond to a suicidal caller. An additional outcome of this training is that each staff member is now able to transfer these skills to make a difference in their own communities

View available dates on the Training Calendar
Creative Therapy Tools
Creative therapy tools to enrich your life experience.

An Introduction to - THE ART OF WELLBEING

  • 1. SKILLS FOR GROWTH – Creative Compass

‘Knowing yourself is the beginning of all Wisdom’
Aristotle

Having a strong centre within us is what enables us to face all things well. Connection to this sense of self leads to a growing ability in connection with others and a wider world.

This short course provides an introduction to Transpersonal Art Therapy as a way of equipping ourselves with tools to support our life journey.

We will look at:

Personal reflection
Exploration of our psychological parts
What it means to be authentic
Life experience vs desire
Accessing our own wisdom

How do we get there? Our ability to transform

An enjoyable and therapeutic module, using creative expression, meditation, visualisation and movement that has the potential to bring you to a place of greater meaning and fulfilment.

  • 2. SKILLS FOR GROWTH – Travelling Deeper

‘It is the conversation we have with ourselves in the dark that is most telling’

This module follows on from the foundational work done in the Creative Compass course.

Here we take stock of our experience in light of insight gained and intentions made during the last module. At this point it can be helpful to look at the mechanics behind our success or frustrations in personal development.

What interrupts change?

Patterns, Triggers and Pitfalls- shadow
Dialoguing with parts
Furthering Authentic living
Symbol of Healing

An enjoyable and therapeutic module, using creative expression, meditation, visualisation and movement that has the potential to bring you to a place of greater meaning and fulfilment.

  • 3. SOULAR POWERED STRESS REDUCTION

‘The key to a stress free life is in the moments spent just being’

True stress reduction that is sustainable is found through authentic, connected, intentional living where we can be comfortable not striving but instead, truly experiencing our lives.

Stop, Observe, Understand, Learn, Act and Rest – our formula for gaining insight into how to find our anchor amidst a busy world.

This workshop uses creative techniques, meditation, visualisation and movement based on principles of Transpersonal Art Therapy, to reach a holistic understanding that you can continue to implement in your life every day from here on to live a life less impacted by the damaging effects of stress.

Take the power back!

  • 4. THE INSPIRED LIFE

‘Life isn’t about finding yourself, its about creating yourself’
George Bernard Shaw

In this upbeat soulful workshop we check in on where we see ourselves on our life journey and where we would like to be. We ask questions about Happiness and Fulfilment and explore how Intentional living can bring us an Inspirational Life experience.

Playing with ideas on our Archetypal drives, recognising our true calling and conscious living, alongside tools to tap into choice based freedom.

This workshop uses creative processes, meditation, visualisation, psychodrama and movement based on principles of Transpersonal Art Therapy to give you a lived experience of an Inspired Life!

  • 5. HEALING THE SHADOWLANDS

‘Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.’
Kahlil Gibran

The fullness of life contains the full range of emotions, many that we find painful and ill equipped to deal with. Problematic times only become crisis when we don’t have the right tools to know how to journey through them.

This workshop is a safe and respectful place to engage with new perspectives to face the shadows and strategies to heal the past and face the future.

Creative processes, dialoguing, meditation, visualisation and movement practices founded in the holistic model of Transpersonal Art Therapy provide the basis for this program. All interested are encouraged to make prior contact so as to ascertain if the content is suitable to your needs.

  • 6. LIKE AND SHARE – Educators Resource

What is Art Therapy and how can it be used in schools, welfare and community programs to promote positive self awareness, authenticity of character and social integrity?

Art Therapy is everywhere, existing alongside peoples struggles with pain and desire for meaning. Our modern framework focuses on happiness through our external circumstances where true happiness is found in strengthening an individuals connection to their inner world which in turn influences their relationships and interaction with the world at large.

In a nutshell, reach a person on the heart level and you can change their life experience.

This short course offers resources for providers to enhance their programs with activities that can be interwoven with existing content. Giving you the ability to further support those in your care.

View available dates on the Training Calendar

DV-alert Workshop

DV-alert (Domestic Violence Response Training)
CHCDFV001 - Recognise and Respond to Domestic and Family Violence

Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter on behalf of Lifeline Australia RTO 88036 delivers DV-alert, Lifeline's free nationally recognised training program that enables health, allied health and frontline workers to confidently:

  • RECOGNISE signs of domestic and family violence
  • RESPOND with appropriate care
  • REFER affected individuals and families to relevant support services

Since 2007, Lifeline has been delivering DV-alert (previously known as DiVeRT) in different parts of Australia including remote and rural locations. Since it was first developed, DV-alert has expanded to wider range of audiences to provide a more tailored approach that recognises the complexities of domestic and family violence as an issue.

DV-alert is funded by the Department of Social Services and is supported to contribute to one of the outcomes of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022 - services meet the needs of women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.

NATIONALLY RECOGNISED TRAINING:

As a nationally recognised training program, DV-alert is mapped out against the unit of competency CCHCDFV001 - Recognise and Respond to Domestic and Family Violence. Participants who complete the training and assessment will receive a statement of attainment. Find out more about the benefits of DV-alert.

For more detailed information and for bookings, visit dvalert.org.au

View available dates on the DV-alert website

LivingWorks ASIST

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) aims to enhance a caregiver’s abilities to help a person at risk avoid suicide. Participants learn to recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide and respond in ways that help increase immediate safety and link the person to help.

Key Features

ASIST facilitates involvement. Participants will spend over half of the workshop in the same small group with one of the two trainers. Learning is stimulated by audiovisuals and teaching. A suicide first aid model provides the framework for the workshop and skills practise.

The workshop provides opportunities to learn what a person at risk may need from others in order to keep safe and get more help. Participants consider common factors that may flag potential suicide risk.

ASIST has a training focus. Personal and professional experiences that participants bring contribute to everyone’s learning. Experiences with suicide and intervention are focused on the overall learning goal—to provide suicide first aid.

Participants are also encouraged to share and reflect on their attitudes about suicide and suicide intervention and hear those of others. People are invited to reflect on how these attitudes may affect their caregiver role with a person at risk and to appreciate diverse perspectives. The workshop encourages honest, open and direct talk about suicide as part of preparing people to provide suicide first aid.

LivingWorks Australia

Participants are also encouraged to share and reflect on their attitudes about suicide and suicide intervention and hear those of others. People are invited to reflect on how these attitudes may affect their caregiver role with a person at risk and to appreciate diverse perspectives. The workshop encourages honest, open and direct talk about suicide as part of preparing people to provide suicide first aid.

Although it is highly standardised, ASIST has been used in a range of settings with trainees from a variety of backgrounds and countries. ASIST has been implemented in secondary and post-secondary schools, mental health centres, hospitals, social services, public safety agencies and numerous other community settings.

Evaluations of ASIST outcomes have shown that participants demonstrate increased intervention skills, and that ASIST training has led to positive changes in both knowledge and attitudes.

ASIST is based on principles of adult learning. It values the experiences and contributions that participants bring and encourages people to share actively in the learning process.

Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter conducts at least one ASIST workshop in the region each month.

View available dates on the Training Calendar
LivingWorks safeTALK

Suicide Prevention Awareness Program

LivingWorks safeTALK is a half-day presentation to increase suicide awareness. This program alerts community members to signs that a person may be considering suicide. It acknowledges that while most people at risk of suicide signal their distress and invite help, these intervention opportunities are often overlooked. safeTALK participants learn to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and to respond in ways that link them with further suicide intervention help.

Suicide alert helpers contribute to a suicide safer community. It is intended that safeTALK participants will be better prepared to:

  • Recognise that invitations to help are often overlooked
  • Move beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss and avoid conversations around suicide
  • Notice and respond to situations in which thoughts of suicide may be present
  • Apply basic TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe)
  • Connect the person with thoughts of suicide to suicide first aid help and further community resources

Suicide alert community members are better prepared to become a vital link in connecting people at risk with further help. safeTALK is designed to complement the LivingWorks ASIST workshop (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). The programs share the same beliefs about suicide and preventing suicide. However, each presentation has a specific role.

safeTALK Outline

safeTALK is a brief program that shows how alertness to suicide risk can be followed by basic (TALK) steps that facilitate links with further suicide first aid help. The emphasis is on fulfilling this vital linking role with community resources rather than full engagement in a suicide first aid intervention.

safeTALK is a presentation rather than workshop format. It will stimulate people to think and hopefully act differently when signs of potential suicide risk are present.

Some organisations may choose to train a large number of people in safeTALK, while inviting key people, designated as suicide first aid resource persons, to attend a LivingWorks ASIST workshop.

Call Dr June Anderson for bookings, 02 4940 2000.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid Training

This course teaches adults how to assist other adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis or a mental health problem. The program has been well evaluated and found to be effective in improving mental health literacy, reducing stigma and increasing helping behaviours.

Mental health first aid is the help given to someone dealing with a mental health problem or crisis. Until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves. Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of these mental health problems, where and how to get help and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective.

Who can attend an MHFA course?

Any interested adult can attend. This course is not a therapy or support group, rather it is an education course. Our instructors are trained by Mental Health First Aid TM Australia, and more information about MHFA Australia can be found at www.mhfa.com.au

The Standard Mental Health First Aid Course has also been endorsed for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points for a number of professions. This includes nurses, pharmacists, fitness instructors, social workers, physiotherapists and others.

MHFA Training can provide members of the community with:

  • Skills in how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems
  • Knowledge of the possible causes or risk factors for these mental health problems
  • Awareness of the evidenced based medical, psychological and alternative treatments available
  • Skills in how to give appropriate initial help and support someone experiencing a mental health problem
  • Skills in how to take appropriate action if a crisis situation arises involving suicidal behaviour, panic attack, overdose or threatening psychotic behaviour
View available dates on the Training Calendar
Mind Your Mates Program

Recognising the signs of suicide

"We need to overcome the silence in the community around suicide and be responsive to the early warning signs of suicide among family and friends, school and work colleagues, by strengthening people's awareness and ability to take action."

A Contributing Life, the 2012 National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention National Mental Health Commission, 2012

Mind Your Mates is a 40-minute toolbox tool to develop suicide prevention awareness, a Workplace (Mental) Health & Safety initiative introduced by Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter and ResCo Services in 2009. Since then, over 280 mine workers in the Hunter Valley have completed the program as well as over 200 members of Men's Sheds across the region. This brief module, can be presented within an induction day format to small groups, assists recognition when someone may be at risk of suicide and what to do when suspicions are confirmed.

Post-program feedback has demonstrated:
  • 97% of respondents felt more able to recognise a mate who may be having suicidal thoughts
  • 95% of respondents felt more confident to ask a mate if they are thinking of suicide
  • 99% of respondents felt confident about knowing where to refer a mate who is having suicidal thoughts
  • 96% of respondents felt a greater sense of being able to be involved with the care and welfare of their workmates

If someone is experiencing suicidal tendencies or who is exhibiting signs of depression, having a co-worker who can identify the problem could literally be a life saver.

Mind Your Mates Outline

(Typical 40 minute session)

Introduction
Invitation to talk about the stigma and taboo that often prevent us from having serious conversations about suicide.

Talking about myths
Exploring the myths surrounding suicide and debunking them.

Recognising signs
Looking at the warning signs of acute distress or despair such as changes in appearance, change in mood, loss or a series of losses, giving possessions away.

Preparing to ask
How to listen appropriately

Asking the question
The importance of asking about thoughts of suicide, how best to ask.

Referral
Know where to refer someone to the help they need and deserve.

Call Dr June Anderson for bookings, 02 4940 2000.

mindfulness@work

mindfulness@work

The ancient wisdom behind mindfulness combines with the latest research on neuroplasticity and thinking from leaders in the business world. Clearer thinking, the ability to make calm, considered decisions and freedom from feeling overwhelmed by a seemingly never-ending workload are just some of the benefits that a practice of mindfulness can bring to the workplace.

Forward-thinking people in business and institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of mindfulness training. According to the psychologist Daniel Goleman, being mindful “is now the yardstick by which pioneering organisations and their leaders are being judged. Today’s leaders not only have to be emotionally intelligent, but also mindful.”

Mindfulness training supports the development of a more effective, productive, creative and peaceful workplace and dramatically reduces levels of stress in the work environment. Stress is believed to trigger 70% of visits to the doctor and 85% of serious illnesses. Thus, when you consider that stress in the workplace reduces productivity, increases management pressure, severely restricts workers’ creativity and interferes with job satisfaction, investing in mindfulness training could be one of the most cost effective decisions you make all year.

“Based on the 2,600 year-old tradition of Buddhist meditation, mindfulness is not new or New Age. What is new is bringing its potential to the offices and conference rooms of businesses and corporations.” Pamela Weiss, Founder of Appropriate Response 2012.

Mindfulness coach Charlotte Thaarup gives you the foundation for starting to integrate mindfulness into work life. You will also gain specific skills to train attention span, calm down and reduce being overwhelmed, as well as practical mindful skills for running meetings, emailing and time (self) management.

Call Dr June Anderson for bookings, 02 4940 2000 or book and pay online.

View available dates on the Training Calendar
Opening Doors

Opening doors: saying no to domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence (DFV) is more than an individual issue, it is a community issue and can no longer be kept behind closed doors. Victim/survivors have the right to feel and be safe from the person using violence but stigma, financial difficulties, concerns for children, hopes and dreams can entrap them.

Frontline workers can play an important role in assisting victim/survivors to be aware of the power and control patterns that underpin DFV. Rather than miss, dismiss and avoid the signs that a person before you is living in DFV, awareness training provides a set of skills to, first, have ears to hear, second, have the words to address what the ears have heard and, thirdly, have knowledge of community resources for appropriate referral. Such a response from key members of the helping community is a way of saying no to domestic and family violence.

But there is more that we can all do in our day-to-day lives, as individuals and as a community, to show those who are suffering that they are not alone. Together, we can put a stop to domestic and family violence. It is beholden upon all of us — every single citizen of this diverse, vibrant nation — to take a stand against domestic and family violence; to commit to protecting the vulnerable; and to make it clear to those who would hurt another, within a relationship of intimacy and trust, that we will not tolerate, excuse, condone or accept their behaviour.

This training develops skills for frontline workers to initiate a difficult conversation and to open doors for victim/survivors to say no to domestic and family violence.

1-day workshop with our Lifeline trainers for managers and frontline workers

Call Dr June Anderson for bookings, 02 4940 2000 or book and pay online.

Lifeline Training Centre, 12 Maitland Road Islington

No on-site parking, diagonally opposite is Wickham Park Hotel

Refund Policy

Lifeline Training Cancellation and Refund Policy

For an individual participant who has paid a course fee, if cancellation is made more than 48 hours before course commencement, a refund will be made less a 20% administration fee. If a training participant can provide a medical certificate or show extreme personal or other hardship that necessitates withdrawal 48 hours or less before course commencement, a refund will be made less a 20% administration fee. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before course commencement without such proof of illness or hardship, or the person booked does not attend, no refund will be made.

If Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter cancels a course for whatever reason, a full refund will be made or payment can be rolled over to the next available course on instruction.

In the case of a group booking of five or more participants for which a rate has been negotiated, if the booking is cancelled more than seven days but less than 14 days prior to commencement of the planned training, a 20% administration fee will be charged. If cancellation of a group or organisation booking of five or more participants is made less than seven days before course commencement, 50% of the negotiated rate will be charged.

Lifeline Shop Refunds

New Items
Please choose carefully. Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter does not give refunds if you simply change your mind or make a wrong decision. You can choose between a refund or exchange where goods are faulty, wrongly described, different from a sample shown to you or don't do what they are supposed to do. Please retain your receipt for proof of purchase.

Second-Hand Clothing and Goods
Whilst Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter endeavours to ensure that items sold in the eight Hunter-based Lifeline Shops are of merchantable quality, second-hand goods are classed as seconds and are therefore non-refundable.

Safety Planning & Response

For Frontline Workers

Safety Planning And Response (SPAR) is a 4-hour module that provides de-escalation training for frontline workers, combining elements of our Accidental Counsellor course content (Module 4 Understanding Conflict; Module 5 Dealing with Difficult Clients; and Module 6 Professional Boundaries and Self-Care) with additional components aligning with the VET sector.

SPAR content aligns with VET Units of Competency CHCCOM403AUse targeted communication skills to build relationships and HLTCSD306A Respond effectively to behaviours of concern. Topics covered include:

  • Alarm reaction and the stress cycle
  • De-escalation toolbox
  • Physical intervention and self-defense'
  • Positive behaviour support
  • Professional boundaries
  • The importance of self-care

SPAR has the capacity to be tailored to a specific workplace and is an ideal module to include in workplace health and safety training for those organisations with workers in the field.

About the Trainer

SPAR trainer with Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter, Belinda Connell (BWS, DipPP) has a background in NSW Police and child protection as well as social work experience in both government and non-government agencies. Belinda relays her extensive knowledge about de-escalation techniques used within government agencies for frontline workers, especially those who approach people in their homes.

Call Dr June Anderson for bookings, 02 4940 2000.

School Alert

A school approach to suicide prevention

Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter has developed the schoolALERT program to support high schools in their desire to ensure staff and parents are more suicide aware, alert and armed with response. Trained staff and parents will provide a safety net for vulnerable young people and be more confident to take action, protecting those in their care at risk of suicide.

The schoolALERT program provides the following training:

LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Recommended for significant members of staff such as Year Heads, School Welfare or Guidance Officers. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid, the verbal equivalent to physical first aid or CPR. Participants learn to recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide, to respond in ways that help increase their immediate safety, and to link them to further help. Participants consistently say that they feel better prepared to respond helpfully to a person at risk of suicide, and that ASIST training has led to positive changes in both knowledge and attitudes about suicide.

Living works safeTALK

Awareness program suited to all other staff members, parents and friends of the school. safeTALK is a half-day presentation to increase suicide alertness to signs that a person may be considering suicide. The program acknowledges that while most people at risk of suicide signal their distress and invite help, these intervention opportunities are often overlooked. Participants learn to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and to respond in ways that link them with further suicide intervention help. Suicide alert helpers contribute to a suicide safer community.

“Our students will greatly benefit from the teachers and parents being more alert to the risk of suicide.”

Feedback from schoolALERT participant, St. Francis Xavier’s College

If you would like more information or to book a schoolALERT for your school, contact Robyn 02 4940 2000 or email robyn@lifelinehunter.org.au.

Suicide Safer Workplace

Workplace Mental Health and Safety

Increasingly, organisations are acknowledging that the 'H' in WH&S is not only about physical health. The mental health of employees is a significant consideration on not just their well-being but also on the company's bottom line. Employers are recognising that mental health problems reduce performance and lead to increased absenteeism. Having a mental health savvy workforce or, as one of our toolbox programs is called, the ability to Mind Your Mates, builds stronger workplace wellbeing and employer reputation.

Our multi-modal training in mental health awareness and suicide prevention training can be adapted to suit most workplaces. Members of our training team can come to you and, when a client based in the Hunter has branch offices outside the region and wants whole-of-organisation training, we can travel to meet that need.

Such was the case with Emeco, an organisation that provides earth moving equipment to mining companies and contractors in three regions: the Hunter, Mackay and Perth. Emeco is also an organisation with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility. In September 2011, when Lifeline invested in a 'Saving Lives Overnight' pilot program, Emeco underwrote the payment of telephone crisis supporters to work the midnight to 6am shift, bringing greater sustainability to the way Lifeline recruits, trains and retains staff and volunteers.

Not only does Emeco's management 'talk the talk' about suicide prevention, but also 'walks the walk'. Emeco's workforce is 83.5% male, and we know that men are four times more likely to die from suicide than women. Most of Emeco's workers also live in remote and regional areas, and we know that suicide rates are higher there than in metropolitan areas. In recognition of these combined risk factors, and in alignment with the corporate funding pledge to Lifeline, Emeco commissioned a multi-modal suicide-safer education program for staff in Emeco's three centres - Rutherford, Perth and Mackay - delivered by members of Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter's training division March-May 2013.

View available dates on the Training Calendar
Training calendar for workshop dates

View available course dates and book online. 

For more information or for corporate group bookings, contact Dr June Anderson, 4940 2000 or email june@lifelinehunter.org.au 

View Training Calendar

Information on Suicide Prevention in the Workplace

Workplaces often represent the last crucible of sustained human contact for many of the people who kill themselves or self-harm each year. A co-worker's suicide has a deep, disturbing impact on work mates. For managers, such tragedies pose challenges not covered in management school. Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter offers tailor-made packages for workplaces keen to embrace a proactive suicide prevention stance in alignment with Workplace (Mental) Health and Safety principles.

While our agency is relatively small, we have contributed significantly to large organisations as a boutique training provider, specialising in mental health awareness and suicide prevention training. Increasingly, organisations are acknowledging that the 'H' in WH&S is not only about physical health. The mental health of employees is a significant consideration on not just their wellbeing but also on the company's bottom line. Employers are recognising that mental health problems reduce performance and lead to increased absenteeism. Having a mental health savvy workforce or, as one of our toolbox programs is called, the ability to Mind Your Mates, builds stronger workplace wellbeing and employer reputation. A multi-modal approach is recommended using a mix of safeTALK, ASIST and Accidental Counsellor or, in the mining industry, Mind Your Mates toolbox talks.

If you are an employer, manager or supervisor, please call Dr June Anderson, Manager Training and Development on 02 4940 2000, to talk over how our multi-modal training in mental health awareness and suicide prevention training can be adapted to suit your workplace. Members of our training team can come to you and, when a client based in the Hunter has branch offices outside the region and wants whole-of-organisation training, we can travel to meet that need.

Our Good News Story

Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) is the national peak body for the suicide prevention sector in Australia, promoting collaboration, coordination and partnerships in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. It's mission is to make suicide prevention everybody's business.

Each year at SPA's annual conference, eight LiFE Awards are bestowed on individuals or organisations who have been actively involved in the practice of suicide prevention, intervention or postvention; exhibited innovation for positive change in the suicide prevention sector; and promoted advocacy and contributed to an increased awareness in the community about suicide prevention.

In 2013, Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter received the LiFE Service Delivery Award for our services in community and crisis support. This award recognises the quality of service, innovation in delivery of service, and distinguishable results produced.

Testimonials

After attending a LivingWorks safeTALK training session, two participants chanced upon a young person in a very agitated and distressed state. They used the suicide prevention skills that they had only just learned to respond to this young person. An ambulance was called and safety was provided. The next day it was confirmed that the young person was planning to suicide before the life saving intervention. The care shown by the two safeTALKers who kept the person at risk safe is powerful testimony that this training can save lives.

A representative of a church-based school had been petitioning staff and parents to conduct dedicated suicide prevention training for the school's parents and teachers following the (then) recent suicide of one of the school's pupils. Staff had been reluctant to break the taboo of talking about suicide. Said the caller asking for Lifeline's help in her petition, "I know how good this program is. I have done ASIST myself, and it was because of that I was able to help my sister. She is alive today because I did that workshop."

Our Area of Service
Lifeline Hunter Region

The Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter Training Division serves the Statistical District of Hunter, an area of 29,000 sq. kms with a population of 651,000 people. When a client based in the Hunter has branch offices outside the region and wants whole-of-organisation training, we can travel to meet that need.

Help us Help Those in Need

Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter is 81% self-funded and your support is vital in helping us continue to offer crisis support, counselling, and suicide prevention programs within our region.

Your Donation Will Help Us Save Over 5000 Lives A Year.

Client / Participant Testimonials

  • Brian

    "You really did save my life tonight. I was very very close to doing something silly."


  • David

    "I thought no one could help me and I felt so desperate,
    but talking to someone was the first step to getting my life back."


  • Ian

    "The perspective offered in my lowest moments,
    gave me the strength to continue at moments when I could otherwise have given up."


  • Jenna

    "I never knew it would bring so much relief to talk to someone who cared"
  • John

    "Thank you for that information and thank you for talking to me.
    I actually feel a bit better getting it out of my system and saying how I really feel."
  • Kathy

    "I want to compliment Lifeline for the professional and caring approach. I was very impressed with the service I received yesterday.
    I'd also like to say that many years ago Lifeline literally saved my life when I was in a very dark place. Thank you."
  • Katie

    "Thanks heaps for your help, I feel calmer and a lot less like harming myself now."
  • Matt

    "I even feel better typing to you tonight - I feel like I have taken some action.
    I was a bit scared of calling; but find online chatting less scary. What a great idea."
  • Renee

    "Thank you for having such wonderful people taking time to help others."