SOON after receiving a 2019 LiFE Award at the National Suicide Prevention Conference in July, the Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy (JSPS) has received recognition once again, having recently won the Mental Health Matters Community Initiative Award by WayAhead – Mental Health Association NSW.
Initiated and coordinated by JewishCare, the strategy is the first and only Jewish-specific suicide prevention strategy in Australia and comprises representatives from local Jewish schools, rabbis, Jewish crisis and emergency medical services, and youth groups and other organisations.
In a video played at the event, chair of the JSPS, Isabelle Shapiro remarked, “The JSPS is a coming together of 20 communal organisations and that’s what’s so important; it’s community-wide and that gives it its power,” while Claire Gil-Munoz, suicide prevention program manager at JewishCare, said, “Some of the needs are around improving basic mental health literacy. In our experience, the reality is that people that have taken their lives haven’t been accessing mainstream mental health services.”
The annual awards were held in the lead-up to NSW’s Mental Health Month in October.
“The theme for this year’s Mental Health Month is ‘Share the Journey’ to highlight the importance of connection to giving people a sense of security, support, purpose and happiness,” said WayAhead CEO Elizabeth Priestley.
“This year’s incredible winners showcase the amazing work being done across NSW to create communities and connections that support people going through difficult times and enable everyone to have the best possible mental health.”
At the National Suicide Prevention Conference in July, the JSPS won the Communities Matter category in the 2019 LiFE Awards, which recognises excellence in suicide prevention.
If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.