Umwelt and AGL workers do QPR ASIST suicide prevention training for business and community

Confident: Julie Wicks, pictured bottom left, with her Umwelt colleagues who have trained, or are currently training, in suicide prevention.
Confident: Julie Wicks, pictured bottom left, with her Umwelt colleagues who have trained, or are currently training, in suicide prevention.

IN THE three months since Julie Wicks completed suicide prevention training, she has already used her new skills to reach out to people.

Alongside her colleagues, the business development manager at Umwelt completed a one-hour online training module called QPR, as well as a two-day suicide prevention course via Lifeline called ASIST.

She hoped more businesses would consider offering their staff the opportunity to do the training too, as it would create a flow-on effect that would benefit the wider community.

“We saw it as a way we could look after our staff, and help them become more aware and look out for each other, as well as a way to support the community,” Ms Wicks said.

“If we have more people within Hunter businesses who have done this training, we could really start to save some lives.”

Trevor Anderson, an operations manager at AGL, has lost six of his friends, former colleagues and acquaintances to suicide in the past seven months.

One of his staff members recently lost a young son to suicide.

“It just shows how prevalent it is,” he said. “Something has got to change.”

Mr Anderson has since bought 20 QPR licences for his staff to ensure 100 per cent of his team is trained in suicide prevention.

“We’re a small workforce, it’s nearly like a family. You cut one, we all bleed.”

Mr Anderson has been working on creating a directory of helpful phone numbers and services for people working in industry to have on hand if they are going through a tough time.