Labor Candidate for Keppel Brittany Lauga wants to see the state government supporting projects that will bring employment and opportunities for our young people.
Labor Candidate for Keppel Brittany Lauga wants to see the state government supporting projects that will bring employment and opportunities for our young people. Contributed

More training for ED staff to prevent suicide

MEMBER for Keppel Brittany Lauga has welcomed a new training package for Emergency Department staff in Queensland public hospitals to receive training to recognise, assess and manage people at risk of suicide.

Ms Lauga said the program was vital in saving Queensland lives.

"We lose more years of potential life to suicide than to any other cause," Mrs Lauga said.

"Through this program, emergency staff will be more aware and better trained to deal with people who are at risk of suicide."

Health Minister Cameron Dick said the plan would be developed and rolled out across the state over the next 12 months.

"The loss of a life by suicide is a tragedy and one that has a significant impact on friends, families and the community," Mr Dick said.

"The need for this training has been raised directly with me by parents and advocates calling for improvements to the system.

"Emergency department staff do a great job in difficult circumstances, and now we want to better support them with effective training."

While existing programs are available, they are targeted to mental health clinicians and require full or half-day attendance, which make them difficult to access for ED staff who work variable shifts.

The new training package, tailored specifically to emergency department staff, will be delivered more flexibly and will use a 'train-the-trainer' model.

The training package will be based on the existing Emergency Events Management Mental Health Module and updated with a greater emphasis on the detection and management of suicide risk.

Queensland Health will update its Guidelines for Suicide Risk Assessment and Management to include clinical best practice for emergency departments.

The Queensland MIND (Mental Illness Nursing Documents) Essentials resource for nurses will also be updated to strengthen the section that provides advice on how to care for a person who is suicidal.



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