In June 1995, the FNQ Taskforce for the Prevention of Youth Suicide was formed in response to the alarming rates of youth suicide in the region. The work of the Taskforce has continued and expanded with many initiatives developed for the community. The Taskforce's goals are to implement, support and promote strategies which aim at the reduction of suicide and self-harm. During the year 2000, the Taskforce celebrated 5 years of work for and with the community. To be responsive to the needs of all age groups in the community, the Taskforce voted to be now called "FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce" and is now able to fill a broad role in the community. Activities are carried out under the auspices of the Dr Edward Koch Foundation.
The Taskforce continues to be a community based voluntary group that meets monthly. Members represent a wide cross section of the community and include government, service providers and community based representatives. It is the expertise that these volunteers bring with them that enables the Taskforce to achieve its initiatives. Since inception, the group believes that the initiatives of the Taskforce have made community and service providers more aware of the issues of suicide and self harm and have increased awareness of what is an appropriate level of intervention.
The Taskforce has worked collaboratively with communities to ensure that information and resources supplied by the Taskforce are helpful an relevant to individual communities. As a result, communities have benefited from having increased resources and knowledge relating to suicide and self-harm. The FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce has worked in conjunction with many other community organisations to support them in dealing with issues of suicide and self-harm, particularly counselling and community development organisations for support, information and training.
The Taskforce was lucky to be the recipient of a $5000 from the ANZ Staff Foundation to reprint the "FNQ Suicide Prevention Handbook". The Taskforce also launched a Cairns City Council sponsored website in October 2001. The FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce also provided a reprint of the "Community Based Flowchart for the Management of Suicide and Self Harm" for distribution to the community. During 2002 the group promoted it's new logo and provided community awareness sessions on suicide prevention.
Taskforce meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 9.30am at the Dr Edward Koch Foundation, upstairs, 6 Aplin St Cairns. The role of chairperson is held by the Executive Officer of the Dr Edward Koch Foundation. All are welcome to attend. For more information about the Taskforce, phone
Fran Lindsay - 07 40 443044 or
Dulcie Bird - 07 40 310145
* Encourage and support the co-ordination of services
* Develop initiatives
* Implement strategies
All objectives will give attention to suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. All objectives will take into account economic, political, social and cultural factors.
1. Strengthen the links and networks of all relevant existing government and non-government services and personnel.
2. Develop a database of existing resources and services relevant to suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.
3. Disseminate information about prevention and responses to self-harming behavior in a user friendly format throughout the community.
4. Improve awareness of relevant issues surrounding prevention of suicide and responding to self-harming behaviour throughout the community
5. Maintain a positive relationship with the media representatives and monitor and respond appropriately to the reporting of issues related to self-harm
* Advocated for an adolescent facility at the Cairns Base Hospital
* Developed "A Community Based Flowchart for the Management of Self Ham and Suicide" The revised edition included the Cairns Inhalant Group's "Chroming and Sniffing Management Sheet"
* Facilitated the provision of information and skills workshops to schools, community groups and others
* Initiate a project funded by Queensland Health that developed profiles of Far North Queensland Communities, which identified local resources and recommendations
* Development of a Media team to monitor reports of suicide and self harm in the Media
* Development of "Preventing Suicide Awareness and Support Handbook - FNQ Edition"
* Gained support for the Cairns City Council to produce a Website for the Taskforce. Website launched in 2001
* Gained sponsorship from businesses, community agencies and government for the revision and reprint of the "Preventing Suicide Awareness and Support Handbook - FNQ Edition"
* Developed logo for the group
* Production and distribution of brochures
Do you need Help? Survival Skills for Friends and Family dealing with depression, self-harm and suicide
oAttention! Canegrowers, tobacco farmers, primary producers. You are not alone
oToughin` it Out
* Healing our Way Project - Development of culturally appropriate resources for the Indigenous people of Yarrabah on information and advice for people who are self-harming, their families and community and those at risk of suicide. Outcomes:
oHealing our Way brochure - After a Suicide
oHealing our Way brochure - Self harm
oHealing our Way DVD - Self harm and After a Suicide
* Continues to fulfill a broad advocacy role
Resources can be obtained from the Dr Edward Koch Foundation. Most resources are free but postage will need to be paid by recipient.
Dr Edward Koch Foundation
6 Aplin Street, Cairns
PO Box 2964, Cairns 4870
Ph (07) 4031 0145
Fax (07) 4031 0744
The FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce together with the University of Queensland and The Young People at Risk Project (Tropical Public Health Unit) compiled a library of resources for community Use. The resource unit is located at the Red Cross Centre, 245 - 247 Lake St, Cairns.
Please feel free to browse the bookshelves for any reading, audio or video materials. The borrowing of items is based on an "honor system" therefore we ask that you be honest when borrowing any resources. The resources have been carefully selected to aid people in understanding and working with a variety of issues in the context of education, health community and training.
To facilitate the recording and flow of information we would appreciate that you adhere to the following terms and conditions:
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BORROWING RESOURCES FROM THE UNIT
* Please complete all sections of the registration book
* You will be required to return any borrowed materials within 4 weeks. However, if you require an extension, please phone Dulcie on 40310145 before the expiry date. When requesting an extension, please supply details of the borrowed item(s).
* Please do not deface any items you borrow
* The late return of items (without an excuse) will occur a fee of $5.00 per day.
* Please place all items in the wire tray beside the unit.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE TASKFORCE
Dulcie Bird Ph 07 40310 145
Fran Lindsay 07 40443044