A record week of Indigenous suicide prevention skills training

Posted 27th June 2024

By Tegan Schefe, Managing Director, TLS Indigenous Consultancy

As part of her work championing culturally responsive suicide prevention, Bidjara and Kamilaroi woman, Tegan Schefe, Managing Director of TLS Indigenous Consulting completed a record week of suicide prevention skills training in June 2024, upskilling community in NSW and Queensland.

TLS Indigenous Consultancy is a culturally responsive consulting service that responds to specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities. TLS Indigenous Consultancy works with community to deliver evidence-based and best practice protocols to ensure communities are equipped and empowered to self-determine strategies and implement programs that meet community needs.

SafeYARN is an evidence-based suicide prevention skills training where Indigenous people, or those working with Indigenous people, learn how to help and support someone with thoughts of suicide in a culturally appropriate, relevant, and respectful way. SafeYARN training has been developed based on the evidence-based training, safeTALK, developed by LivingWorks Australia and is delivered via a half-day workshop.

TLS Indigenous Consultancy is one such organisation delivering SafeTALK workshops. In just over a week, Tegan trained nearly 70 people in four safeYARN workshops. These training participants will take their skills back to more than 20 workplaces, schools and communities to help keep one another safe.

“It was unreal, just last week I delivered an I-ASIST in the Sunshine Coast, and then this week 4 safeYARNs with a diverse mix of participants from Indigenous Engagement Officers, Case Workers, Community Engagement Workers, Alcohol and other Drugs Counsellors and mums and dads across the Sunshine Coast down to Western Sydney,” Tegan said.

“I’ve done a lot of training in the last few years but never this many workshops back-to-back, it’s been a real highlight for me,” she said.

Tegan said that empowering the community with skills, like through safeYARN workshops, is one of the most rewarding parts of her work.

“I’ve been delivering this training for many years and the best part is seeing that change in people during a workshop when they realise, ‘yeah, this is actually going to help me talk to my niece who I know has been having a hard time, or my friend at work, or that young lad at training who hasn’t been himself’…it’s life changing and it’s something our mob needs to contribute in the reduction of suicides,” Tegan said.

“Evidence-based training is important; we want to see that the skills we are sharing with our communities actually work, are safe, and are aligned with our ways of knowing, being and doing,” Tegan said.

Learn more about Tegan’s work at tlsindigenousconsult.com Or learn more about LivingWork’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs via Indigenous communities - LivingWorks AU

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