Kempsey Community Suicide Prevention

Kempsey Community Suicide Prevention is a community-based program which has been providing and delivering evidence-based suicide prevention strategies in the form of programs, training, education, awareness, and engagement in the Macleay Valley since August 2018. 

Operating from an office located at Macleay Vocational College, Kempsey Community Suicide Prevention was created to deliver Lifespan over an initial period of 2 years (under the Primary Health Network National suicide prevention trial for North Coast NSW Healthy North Coast PHN) when MVWLC was awarded the auspice contract between PHN and Black Dog Institute for Kempsey LGA. Our Kempsey trial site contract has been extended 3 times since the original action plan was introduced, which has allowed the program to gain momentum and solidify as a trusted source within the local community.

Lifespan is an integrated model made up of evidence-based strategies that aim to reduce suicide deaths and attempts by implementation at a local level.

For more information, please read about the Lifespan trials: LifeSpan trials – Black Dog Institute

What do we offer?

Programs | Get Involved | Networks | Events | Safe Spaces


All Programs run under KCSP have local facilitators who received their training under our original action plan and 4 year Lifespan trial.


Red Dust Healing

For all Community Members and Service Provider’s

Red Dust Healing is a self-evaluating awareness program derived from an ancient Aboriginal perspective that helps individuals deal with the hurt, anger, grief, loss and issues in their lives.

The program introduces participants to visual holistic tools that provide understanding and then empowers individuals to make better choices in their lives. Though the program comes from an Aboriginal perspective the program is not just for Aboriginal people it is for all people. To date Red Dust Healing has been delivered to over 14,500 people in over 400 communities Australia wide & internationally. We invite you to join us in attending this highly recommended program.


Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is a hopeful and inspiring approach to working with children, young people and adults who have experienced hard times.

The Tree of Life enables people to speak about their lives in ways that are not retraumatising, but instead strengthens their relationships with their own history, their culture, and significant people in their lives.

This approach enables people to speak about their lives in ways that make them stronger. It involves people drawing their own ‘tree of life’ in which they get to speak of their ‘roots’ (where they come from), their skills and knowledges, their hopes and dreams, as well as the special people in their lives. The participants then join their trees into a ‘forest of life’ and, in groups, discuss some of the ‘storms’ that affect their lives and ways that they respond to these storms, protect themselves, and each other.


YAM (Youth Aware of Mental Health)

YAM is a mental health and suicide prevention program for young people aged 14 – 16 years. It is a universal program delivered by accredited instructors. YAM uses role play and lectures to promote increased discussion and knowledge about mental health as well as developing emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills. YAM will be progressively delivered in sites across NSW as part of the LifeSpan whole of community, evidence-based approach to suicide prevention.

The Black Dog Institute reviewed Australian and international school programs with the best evidence of reducing suicidal behaviour. Analysis of YAM shows significant improvements in youth mental health by effectively reducing depression, conduct problems, hyperactivity, suicide attempts, severe suicidal ideation and suicide plans. It has also been shown to facilitate healthy lifestyle choices by young people.


ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training)

ASIST is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first-aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don’t need any formal training to attend the workshop—ASIST can be learned and used by anyone.

ASIST is a resource for the whole community. It helps people apply suicide first-aid in many settings: with family, friends, co-workers, and teammates, as well as formal caregiving roles. Many organisations have incorporated ASIST into professional development for their employees. Its widespread use in various communities creates a common language to understand suicide safety issues and communicate across different organisational backgrounds.

Want to get involved?



KCSP has ongoing and recurring community campaigns, projects, events and initiatives that provide everyone with opportunities to have an active role in local suicide prevention.


Youth Suicide Prevention Awareness Initiative and Legacy Projects

This is a KCSP local campaign and legacy for young people that will be a long-lasting way to promote awareness and help-seeking by creating recognisable safe spaces throughout the community.

These safe spaces will include bench seats and bus shelters in various places in community to be re-vamped as youth inspired, designed and completed art pieces by the students that promote awareness, remembrance and help-seeking for suicide and prevention in young people and the wider community. This project is based on the Buddy Bench initiative – which was originally established to encourage anti-bullying and friendship within schools.

These safe spaces will also include signage (contact numbers and information for help-seeking) and affirmations – which are inline with the concepts and evidence-based prevention strategy called means restriction (Improving safety and reducing access to the means of suicide).

Means restriction is considered to be one of the most effective suicide prevention strategies within the Black Dog Institute’s evidence-based Lifespan Model for suicide prevention.


Voices of Lived Experience Campaign and Projects

The KCSP ‘Bunya Storylines’ is a way that our community’s experiences and stories about suicide and help-seeking can be shared in a safe and meaningful way that empowers people with knowledge and learning to create change and strength for families and individuals now and in the future.

Stories and experiences are shared by local story tellers who have completed Roses In The Ocean training to be able to speak publicly and represent themselves and the wider community with powerful messages of loss, grief, survival and strength.


Our local KCSP networks are specific working groups made up of local service providers, representatives and community members who guide, advise, and contribute to focuses and actions developed under relevant strategies. Their purpose is to engage, collaborate, create lasting alliances and provide active involvement in the actions, initiatives or projects of their interest to ensure the successful establishment and implementation of Suicide Prevention strategies within the community.

All of our network members have invested interest, knowledge, skills or organisational ability to support the actions of the working group to reach successful outcomes within community and the commitment and flexibility to take an active part in workshops, meetings and implementation of actions.


Collaboration for Youth – Schools Network

The Schools Network is made up of members from community who work directly with our young people. This includes local high school Principals and wellbeing team representatives, managers of local youth specific services, representatives from local government organisations.


Lived Experience Network

This working group guides and advises all aspects of LE representation in the local community. Members include professionals, carers, and individuals who have a personal experience of suicide or mental health.


Local Health Professionals Network

LHPN is a working group made up specifically of local professionals including General Practitioners, mental health and AoD workers and nurses, social workers, psychologists, counsellors and more.

Annual Events

KCSP has become well-known for our annual awareness and remembrance events. These events are free for community and mark dates or times in the year when we shine a spotlight on suicide and remind each other of importance, inclusiveness and care.



KCSP Annual Remembrance Breakfast

Youth Week Family Fun Day

Nextwave Regional Youth Short Film Festival

WSPD (World Suicide Prevention Day)

Various Forums

Safe Spaces

As part of KCSP’s community engagement and initiative work, we have taken on the maintenance of specific spaces throughout the local area where localised messaging, help-seeking and affirmations can be designed and shared. These spaces can also be utilised for our workshops and events.


Sensory Healing Garden

Located on Verge St in Kempsey, the sensory healing garden is a public space with plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs that are looked after and can be used by everyone. At the centre of the garden is a yarning circle where people can gather.


West Kempsey Pump Track

KCSP is the Platinum Sponsor for the shelters and gathering areas at our local pump track. This location is a popular space for young people and families, and is well used for small regular events and activities.


Rudder Lookout

Overlooking the beautiful Macleay River, Rudder Lookout is a project in the making including a buddy bench and potential for a memorial space where events can be held, and people can come to relax and reflect.


Park Benches and Bus Stops

As part of our Youth legacy and Awareness projects, there are various park benches and bus stops around town that have been (and will be) decorated by young people. Areas include Frederickton, South Kempsey, East Kempsey, Services Park, Rudder Lookout, YP Space Park and more.