Forums focusing on suicide prevention as Marathon and SANE team up

A new partnership aiming to reduce suicide rates in regional areas is targeting the biggest killer of young people in Australia – suicide. 

Marathon Health and SANE Forums are trying to cut through the isolation and stigma of mental health issues in the Central West and other regional areas. 

Over 15 people per 100,000 took their own lives outside the major cities in NSW in 2016 – according to the latest statistics  – significantly higher than 12.3 per 100,000 in 2014. 

In “inner regional” areas – which Orange is classified as by the Australian Bureau of Statistics – suicide rates also overtook “remote” rates in 2016, with 15.6 compared to 15.4 per 100,000 people.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for all people aged 15 to 44, and the male suicide rate is three times higher than the female suicide rate. 

Online portal SANE Forum has announced an integration with Marathon Health’s website in order to reach more Australians, with Marathon Health executive manager of health services Bryan Hoolahan saying regional and remote communities were being targeted.

“These forums offer unique support that may not otherwise be available for people who are socially or geographically isolated,” Mr Hoollahan said.

The forums are monitored 24/7 by mental health professionals, and SANE Australia chief executive officer Jack Health said partnerships like with Marathon Health were crucial to reaching people in need. 

“Thanks to the power of technology we’ve reached more than 400,000 people, many of those in rural and regional Australia where mental health services can be fewer,” he said.  

The forums can be found at https://marathonhealth.saneforums.org/

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