ConNetica’s Australian Suicide Prevention Programs – We're on the Panel

Our ConNetica team, is delighted and grateful to be chosen for inclusion in the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast PHNs Suicide Prevention Training Panel. 

Our bid includes our partnership with two outstanding First Nations People’s organisations Stepping Black and Leading with Strength, for whom we have the greatest admiration for their achievements with First Nation’s people and non-indigenous people.

ConNetica’s suicide prevention training programs have been a true labour of love, greatly spurred on by knowing the deep pain of losing a loved one to suicide. We have a burning desire, deep in our hearts to help others avoid the pain that our family and friends have felt following the tragic suicide of our dear nephew, Jeff Mendoza in 2014. Every time I deliver one of our programs, Jeff and his family are in my upper thoughts. 

Many people say, “Marion how can you deliver these programs, the topic is so sad.” While I agree with them and acknowledge the sadness, I say that: “I always deliver our programs with a sense of HOPE. I know that suicide is preventable and if more of us, from all walks of life had the skills and confidence to:

·      reach out to others, even complete strangers when we suspect they are struggling and 

·      work with them to develop, find and access solutions to their problems, especially early on, we may in fact avoid these thoughts and actions of suicide.”

Why we created our Australian Suicide Prevention Programs

Our suite of suicide prevention training programs was developed initially with:

·      OzHelp

·      Salvation Army – Hope for life 

·      ANU Centre for Mental Health, and

·      Stronger Smarter Solutions. 

These organisations dedicated significant time, funds and resources to fill a need in Australia for culturally appropriate, educationally sound, concise and tailorable suicide prevention training programs, that shifted the dial from imminent risk of suicide to grass roots early suicide prevention.Having held senior executive positions as CEOs and HR Executives and having strong backgrounds in health promotion, mental health, suicide prevention, adult education and change management our consortium understood and wanted to create programs that were concise, relevant and tailorable to the unique needs and context of each audience. 

In addition, in Australia there is apaucity of ‘upstream’ programs that address the conditions in which suicide risk emerge, often referred to as the social determinants. Another defining quality of our programs is our exploration of these issues along with developing the conversation skillsto have confident conversations with people who are becoming vulnerable, even complete strangers. Thus, casting the net far and wide when it comes to suicide prevention initiatives.

Evidence Underpinning Our Programs

Our suicide prevention learning programs and resources are informed by sound models, principles and evidence drawn from four key areas: 

1.     population health and mental health promotion

2.     suicidology

3.     adult learning, and 

4.     social marketing and communications.

All programs include input from people with a lived experience and all were piloted with diverse groups prior to release.

ConNetica’s Early Suicide Prevention Training Programs

Conversations for Life®– an introduction to suicide and early suicide prevention, focussing on communication and influencing vulnerable others before a crisis intervention is necessary (half day).

Stronger Smarter Yarns for life-a culturally appropriate introduction to suicide and early suicide prevention course focussing on yarning and influencing vulnerable others before a crisis intervention is necessary (full day).

Workplace Conversations for life– an introduction to suicide and suicide prevention, focusing on communication and influencing skills to support colleagues before a crisis intervention is necessary plus

workplace legislative procedures and the role of managers and teams in relation to workplace mental health strategies. (full day)

Strengthening Communities for Life– a whole-of-community train the trainer program that focuses on community wide early suicide prevention and resilience building. The program includes Conversations for life and Stronger Smarter Yarns for life, ongoing mentoring and cofacilitation over a 12-month period. to enable for suicide prevention and more resilient communities (3 days)

Chats for life®- an introduction to suicide and early suicide prevention course for schools and young people focussing on communication and influencing vulnerable others before a crisis intervention is necessary (1.5 hours). Please note this training is supported with FREE access to ConNetica’s Chats for life App

Resilient Minds for Life®– a program to build personal and collective resilience (half or one day).

Imminent Risk of Suicide Training Program

Strengthened for life®– a more detailed understanding of the issues underpinning suicide ideation and suicide, myths, personal values, signs and risks, protective behaviours and more detailed conversation skills and self-care practices. This is a one-day program, suitable for gate keepers, especially in non-clinical settings.

Program Evaluation

Each program incorporates a pre and post evaluation and ANU, since 2013 had undertaken independent evaluations of our training programs. All results prove that our programs are resulting in statistically significant changes in participants’ knowledge, skills and willingness to engage in conversations with people who are becoming vulnerable or at imminent risk of suicide and resilience practices. Our 2019 reports will be released in May 2019.


Training has been delivered to diverse groups across Australia and overseas including – traditional custodians, First Nations Peoples, local councils, community pharmacies, librarians, schools teachers and students, university staff and students, accommodation and real estate rental agencies, apprentices, mental health and health workers, social workers, youth workers, veterans, miners and construction workers. 

More Information

If you would like more information, please contact Marion Wands, ConNetica CEO and Director on Ph. 07 54915456 or E. would be delighted to tailor programs to suit your needs and context.