The Windows of Hope program offers free, one-to-one support for LGBTIQ+ individuals of all ages in New South Wales's Lake Macquarie and Newcastle regions. The program was developed by the Lake Macquarie & Newcastle Suicide Prevention Network and is proudly funded by Aurora, an LGBTIQ+ community-led funding organisation.
What are Suicide Prevention Networks?
Suicide Prevention Networks are community-led initiatives that tackle suicide prevention through grassroots approaches. Evidence suggests that supporting and empowering local communities to take action can help prevent suicide.1
Community-based LGBTIQ+ Suicide Prevention
LGBTIQ+ people are a priority population in suicide prevention as they are more likely to attempt or have thoughts of suicide in their lifetime. Windows of Hope was born out of the need to address this issue.
The LGBTIQ+ community requires priority attention in suicide prevention efforts as they are more likely to experience suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide in their lifetime. Windows of Hope was developed to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBTIQ+ community in the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle area.
Imogene Joubert, a dedicated Support Officer and Project Officer for Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Suicide Prevention Network, explained, “As we know, LGBTIQ+ people are more likely to try to attempt suicide... We were seeing a real need for Windows of Hope in our local community”.
Windows of Hope uses a community-based approach, tailoring suicide prevention activities to the local LGBTIQ+ community. It connects people to the services and supports they need in the region, such as psychology, occupational therapy, art programs and therapists, speech pathology, job providers, Centrelink, and many more.
Finding affirming services and support can be difficult for LGBTIQ+ people, and many don’t know the available options. “There are fantastic services available in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area, but people often don’t know they exist... sometimes the scariest and hardest part for somebody is just doing that initial call, and we take care of that for them”, explained Imogene.
Windows of Hope uses a strength-based approach, focusing on a person’s current strategies, achievements, interests, and motivation. A Support Officer helps to develop a plan that works towards the participant’s goals and navigates the challenges they’re experiencing. “If someone is really good at creative writing, we’ll use that towards a goal of writing a resume”.
Learn more about the Windows of Hope program and Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Suicide Prevention Network’s other projects, events and social media.
Morgan, A.J., Roberts, R., Mackinnon, A.J. et al. The effectiveness of an Australian community suicide prevention networks program in preventing suicide: a controlled longitudinal study. BMC Public Health 22, 1945 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-14331-1
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