Roses in the Ocean’s NSW team is excited to announce that since our last update our team has doubled in size!
At the end of June, Roses in the Ocean stalwart Sam Fewings took on the new role of NSW State Manager. Sam first came to Roses in the Ocean as a person with a lived experience of suicide keen to explore and understand his experience more and use it to help others. He was recruited to as a member of the NSW Ministry of Health LE Advisory Group and has actively participated in this role since its inception at the end of 2019.
On a professional front, Sam has spent the past 20 years working in human resources and insurance in the public and private sectors. He also has extensive experience in project and change management. Sam’s role is to oversee all the suicide prevention projects in NSW that Roses in the Ocean has been contracted to deliver under the Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention’s Towards Zero Suicide initiatives.
When Sam is not working, he is a committed tennis player whose lack of skill is made up for with enthusiasm. His second passion is bad dad jokes that he likes to share with his long suffering six-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter as well as his (age undisclosed) wife.
In July, we welcomed Evana Srinivasalu as the NSW Program Administrator – TouchPoints. Evana joins us with experience in administration, finance, and logistics. She is keen to work on the TouchPoints project, which will see Roses in the Ocean build the capacity of local community members with a lived experience of suicide to become TouchPoints trainers able to deliver the half-day, community-focussed gatekeeper workshops in their local areas. This is an exciting new project aimed at supporting sustainability in communities in the two pilot LHD regions of Hunter New England and Western NSW. TouchPoints aims to increase the capacity and confidence of community members to respond to and support each other at times of distress and when suicide impacts community. Another step towards making positive change to our community.
What have we been up to these past few months?
While our facilitators worked hard to design a meaningful, supportive way to deliver the ‘Our Voice in Action’ workshop in an online environment, we were fortunate enough to design and deliver the co-design of the Alternatives to Emergency Departments initiative in the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD. We undertook this project 100% virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions and send a huge shout-out to everyone in the region who was involved in this process. Once again, a first for online delivery! It was a privilege to be a part of creating a service model for a non-clinical safe space that offers a genuine alternative to ED when they are in need of support in a safe environment.
We delivered the Our Voice in Action workshop online for the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD. This is the first ever online lived experience workshop that Roses in the Ocean has delivered, and it would not have been possible without the tireless enthusiasm of Bec and our facilitators. Because of this, the Nepean Blue Mountains district now has the first local lived experience advisory group (LEAG). The team is working hard to bring this opportunity to LHDs across the state and you can keep up to date on this opportunity by checking out the Roses in the Ocean website. Bec’s role has expanded beyond providing administrative support for the LEAGs project, to also provide ongoing LE Coordinator support to each LEAG as they form.
What’s to come?
Next, we are in the planning stages of rolling out the co-design of Alternatives to ED across each Local Health District in NSW, with Bridget now sitting at the helm of coordinating this project. Again, to find out when the co-design of these important initiatives will come to your area in NSW, keep an eye out on our website and social media.
The TouchPoints project will be trialled in two locations in NSW and will see Roses in the Ocean deliver this training to community members in the area to bolster the capacity of the community to support people experiencing suicidal distress. Three local TouchPoints trainers will be recruited in each of the pilot LHDs and will work with Roses in the Ocean to deliver three workshops in community. They will then venture into community to deliver independently a further three workshops each over the next 12 months.
Also in the works is the development and delivery of the new Suicide Prevention (SP) Peer Worker course in NSW. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project!
All in all – we’ve been very busy down here in NSW and are keen to keep bringing lived experience of suicide to the forefront of suicide prevention activities in the state.