SPAN Central Victoria founder Alannah McGregor, Bendigo Community Health Services’ Hannah Coghill
and chairman Rod Flavell.

SUICIDE prevention will be the focus of a series of safeTALK workshops for businesses across Greater Bendigo from June.

Bendigo Community Health Services will oversee the safeTALK workshop program for the Suicide Prevention Awareness Network Central Victoria group, who gained funding through the state government’s Pick My Project initiative.

Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm in Bendigo was the first organisation to host a workshop for staff under the SPAN Suicide Prevention Program.

A Bendigo workshop for small business owners, employees and the public will be held at Bendigo TAFE on June 17 from 1.30pm to 5.30pm, with other dates still to be confirmed.

Bendigo Community Health Services project co-ordinator Hannah Coghill said the LivingWorks Australia safeTALK workshops skilled community members to recognise a person possibly considering suicide and respond by getting the right help.

“safeTALK works around basic steps for a person to follow,” Hannah said.

“The ‘safe’ stands for suicide alertness for everyone. The TALK stands for tell, ask, listen and keep safe, which will ensure you can confidently engage with someone that could be thinking about taking their own life.

“By introducing the safeTALK workshops BCHS and SPAN are looking to create a safer community which benefits everyone.”

SPAN Central Victoria chairman Rod Flavell said the Pick My Project Suicide Prevention Program was a great opportunity for the group to continue its work in the community.

“We host the Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk each year and this project allows the group to expand our work on a wider scale,” Mr Flavell said.

“It’s an honour for us that the general public would vote for our project and we are well aware of the responsibility we now have in ensuring the Pick My Project grant is used to reach as many people as possible through these safeTALK workshops.”

For more information about the Suicide Prevention Program or volunteer your organisation to host a workshop, email Hannah Coghill, HannahCoghill@bchs.com.au or call 5448 1600.