Emergency Department staff being trained to prevent suicides

EMERGENCY department staff are being trained in specialist suicide prevention in an effort to reduce self-harm rates across Queensland.

Health Minister Cameron Dick on Friday announced that the promised training of emergency nurses and acute mental health care staff was underway.

Suicide and self-harm rates are higher among Queenslanders living in regional areas than in Brisbane.

Mr Dick said he had been touched by the story of Redland mother Kerrie Keepa who lost five family members to suicide including her 21-year-old son Chris.

"Shortly after I became Health Minister, I met Kerrie Keepa, who after suffering tragedy in her life, was seeking to make meaningful change with better suicide prevention training for staff in our emergency departments," he said.

"Frontline staff across the state are now being trained in recognising, responding to and caring for people who present to hospital and health services with a suicide risk.

"This program is building the capacity of the health system to prevent suicide incidents wherever possible."

Ms Keepa said more hospital staff with suicide prevention training could save lives.

Mr Dick said as of June 30, 148 clinicians have been trained and another nine in far north Queensland will be trained in September.

If you or someone you know needs support about suicide prevention phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.