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INSIST Workshop makes a difference in Oakey - Daniel' Story

June 28, 2019

With connection, learning and helping we have hope to save lives from suicide. This is the message that Mandandanji man Daniel Blades hopes to convey in a special piece of artwork he painted while completing Indigenous Networking Suicide Intervention Skills Training (INSIST) in Oakey.

INSIST is a culturally-tailored, two-day intervention training program for preventing suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, especially youth, and is a sister program to Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).

The training was delivered by LivingWorks Education Australia and is one of the many mental health and suicide prevention training programs delivered across the Darling Downs and West Moreton region in the last six months under the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN’s Community-Based Suicide Prevention Program.

LivingWorks Education Australia Director Shayne Connell said the INSIST Program delivered in Oakey was one of the best workshops he had been involved in in over 20 years.

“This wasn’t because it was the easiest training to deliver - the group had a lot of complex questions and were keen to debate the concepts - but because the participants were so engaged in the training and keen to learn and strong connections quickly formed as people shared their experiences.”

At the end of the Day 1 of the program, participants were asked to do something overnight for self-care, whatever that meant for them. For Daniel, that meant painting a piece of artwork for the group.

Daniel describes the meaning of the painting below:

“The painting represents the connection within the group and the hope to keep people safe from suicide. The painting features the River of Suicide image from ASIST, and the spirits leaving the Earth for dreaming. The crosses represent the Western world. The blue dots up the top represent when people told their stories, the tears that they shed. The story lines cover the artwork as it is sharing story (such as in 'Hear the Story') that deepens connections between people. The symbols on the bottom left of the painting represent each of the participants and trainers, and the hands, daughter’s hand prints, represent the helping hands of those wanting to help people with thoughts of suicide. What I love about the painting is that it is a very real and honest representation of the issue; suicide is real and runs through our community but with connection, learning and helping we have hope to save lives from suicide.

Additional providers that have delivered Community Based Suicide Prevention activities through PHN funding in the last six months include:

  • Lifeline Darling Downs and South West QLD
  • Sallyanne Keevers
  • Ipswich Hospital Foundation
  • Rural and Remote Mental Health
  • BlackDog Institute
  • headspace Warwick (RHealth)
  • headspace Ipswich (Aftercare)
  • headspace Toowoomba (United Synergies)
  • ReachOut Australia

Picture: Daniel Blades is pictured with his artwork and the group and trainers who undertook the Indigenous Networking Suicide Intervention Skills Training (INSIST).

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affecting Health Care practitioners in the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions: