Suicide Prevention for Pasifika Communities
1 December 2021 – 30 September 2022
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) commissioned community groups to provide unique suicide prevention training.
Suicide prevention and support for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities has continued as a priority of the place-based suicide prevention trial, specifically with the need to tailor a targeted approach for the Pasifika community.
This project aims to provide unique and tailored safeTALK suicide prevention training to the Pasifika community of Brimbank and Melton local government areas. The project will be heavily supported by Pasifika Community to ensure it is culturally specific, appropriate, and safe.
The Pasifika community in Australia is extremely diverse and now recognised as a group of 23 Pacific ancestries encompassing cultural, religious, and historical factors that shape their understanding of suicide and mental health. Within Pasifika communities, mental health is often perceived as a spiritual issue that is determined by the individual and their individual capacity for change. This has fostered stigma and shame within community around mental health, suicide and seeking support.
Pasifika community face a magnitude of barriers to access mainstream services. In addition to stigma, shame and cultural misunderstandings, complex support needs impact the community’s capacity to access services. Significantly, these complexities have devastating impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of the community.
LivingWorks Australia’s (LWA) safeTALK suicide prevention training program will be delivered to a group of community gatekeepers to seek feedback and improvements to ensure its relevance to the wider Pasifika community. Following this, the Pasifika safeTALK training will then be developed and delivered to three community gatekeepers through the train-the-trainer (T4T) program. Newly trained facilitators will then be supported by LWA to deliver the training to two locally based groups of Pasifika community members (up to 30 participants per session).
The project is a community-based suicide prevention initiative that is led by community for community. It looks to:
- empower Pasifika communities across Melton and Brimbank.
- access underutilised community knowledge and expertise by establishing trusted and respected community leaders as suicide prevention advocates.
Community representation will be key to program success and will ensure sustainability beyond the funded period.