Reminder to reach out during Easter

Country SA Primary Health Network have issued a reminder before Easter, as an extended break for some people can be a time of loneliness and despair.

Country SA Primary Health Network have sent out a reminder this Easter to check in with friends and family. Image supplied.

Country SA Primary Health Network have sent out a reminder this Easter to check in with friends and family. Image supplied.

They say knowing "QPR", or Question, Persuade, Refer training can assist people to help family and friends through tough times and save lives from suicide.

Country SA PHN chief executive Kym Hosking said they wanted to help regional communities feel empowered to help curb high rural and regional suicide rates.

"Regional areas traditionally have higher rates of suicide and that's a statistic we all want to change," he said.

"Not everybody who is experiencing suicidal thoughts has immediate access to mental health services.

"This is particularly the case for country South Australians, so it makes sense for as many people as possible to be QPR trained to add a protective factor to suicide prevention."

QPR is a free on-line training module, and was established after Country SA PHN found that 68% of country-based South Australians wanted additional training and upskilling opportunities in suicide prevention.

It is designed to provide everyone with three simple steps to help save a life from suicide.

In the last 12 months more than 1100 people have accessed QPR right across country South Australia.

West Coast Youth and Community Support chief executive officer Jo Clark said there were events happening around Easter time to engage youth and the community.

"There will be a yoga event for young people, a yoga event for the community and an art event for young people too," she said.

"For those with social media, the Mentally Fit EP Facebook page is always a great place to start, it has tips and tricks for staying positive."

She said she encourages people to get involved in activities that are enjoyable, and many community events will still be occurring over the elongated break.

"We understand not everyone has access to internet, so the library is a good place to go if you need to do something, and of course you're more than welcome to drop in to West Coast Youth and have a chat to one of us about what to do over the Easter weekend," she said.

"Take time to do something you enjoy, which we know can be difficult when you are feeling lonely.

"Going for a walk along the beach, or doing some art, listening to music...think about ways to stay positive if you know this time can trigger some things for you."

Operations manager at Country and Outback Health Andrea Triggs said Question, Persuade, Refer training had been mandated for all non-clinical staff in the PHN.

"It's very important that at a time like Easter we all remain vigilant to how our friends and families are feeling and that we're able to help them if they need it," she said.

If this article has raised any issues for you, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or visit beyondblue.org.au