Orygen welcomes the additional year of funding that has been awarded to the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program, which includes $400,000 for Orygen to continue its #chatsafe project.
The #chatsafe project includes the world’s first set of evidence-informed tools and tips designed to directly support young people to communicate safely on social media about suicide. The additional funding for the project was announced by Australia’s Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, on World Suicide Prevention Day.
Orygen’s head of suicide prevention research, Associate Professor Jo Robinson, said the funding was welcomed by Orygen during a time when young people are increasingly using social media and digital technologies.
“Now more than ever young people are using social media to stay connected and to talk about their feelings. Unfortunately, this often includes suicidal feelings,” Associate Professor Robinson said.
The #chatsafe guidelines provide appropriate tools for young people to openly and constructively talk about suicide, she said. The guidelines provide young people with language, tools and resources they can use to speak safely about suicide, to express their feelings and speak to peers who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts.
“So far, #chatsafe content has reached millions of young people across Australia to help them keep themselves safe online. This extra funding means we will be able to help millions more,” Associate Professor Robinson said.
As part of the project, last week Orygen released #chatsafe for educators. These guidelines will help educators better equip the young people they have contact with to talk safely on social media about suicide.
The resource for educators provides information on how they can model safe language when talking about suicide, empower young people to safely engage with suicide-related content on social media and equip young people to make decisions about the way they engage with this content.
Development of the #chatsafe guidelines was funded by the Australian Government under the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program.