Working together to prevent youth suicide: The power of communication

Working together to prevent youth suicide: The power of communication

Louise La Sala and Emily Boubis
28 October 2020

This webinar explored local, place-based solutions to preventing suicide among young people and minimising the risk of suicide clusters.

Group of people running in the park at dusk

This webinar was held on Wednesday, 28 October 2020. Please post your questions and comments below.

A full recording of the webinar and related resources, including slides, audio and a transcript, will be published soon. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive a notification when these resources are available.

Research shows that young Australians aged 12–25 years are at the greatest risk of being harmed by suicide. This may be through their own suicidal thoughts or behaviours, or through those of someone close to them. Professionals working across education, health and social services play an important role in helping to prevent suicide, where possible, and addressing the community harm that it produces.

This webinar explored local, place-based approaches to the prevention of suicide among young people and the minimisation of community harm following a suicide, known as ‘postvention’. Drawing on both research evidence and the lived experience of a youth peer support worker, it:

  • Described current understandings of suicide prevention and postvention
  • Identified key risk factors for young people, including the impacts of COVID-19
  • Explored local, place-based strategies for suicide prevention and postvention, including one community’s use of #chatsafe guidelines to equip young people with the tools to support themselves and each other.

This webinar is of interest to professionals working with children and families in health, mental health, education and social and community service settings.

Related resources

Featured image: © GettyImages/franckreporter

About the presenters

Louise La Sala

Dr Louise La Sala is a research assistant within the suicide prevention unit at Orygen. Louise’s PhD explored adolescent behaviour on social media, focusing specifically on the social and emotional development of teenagers and how that related to specific online interactions. Extending this interest in online behaviour and the social and psychological impact digital technologies can have on young people, Louise now works on the #chatsafe project, exploring the role social media can play in youth suicide prevention. The suicide prevention unit at Orygen, led by Assoc. Prof. Jo Robinson, is currently conducting a number of discrete projects that together seek to examine the efficacy, safety and acceptability of interventions specifically designed for at-risk young people. It also has a strong focus on informing and evaluating national, and state-based, suicide prevention policy.

Emily Boubis

Emily is a 24-year-old mental health advocate with a background in psychology. She started her advocacy journey in 2017 when she joined the Youth Advisory Group (YAG) at headspace Werribee. Since then, Emily has partaken in a number of youth participation-related opportunities across the headspace and Orygen network, including: working with eOrygen as an Online Peer Worker and Youth Content Advisor, advising the Suicide Prevention Research Team at Orygen on the #chatsafe project, and working as part of a collaboration between Orygen and The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) on the Orygen Front-End Redesign Project. Emily has worked at headspace Werribee as a Youth Peer Support Worker since 2018, and is a liaison at Orygen with the Moderated Online Social Therapy (MOST) team. 


Dr Louise and Emily were very inspiring, you guys are such wonderful people.
Cameron Smit

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