communities of practice

What is a Communities of Practice

 ‘Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly’ It is a concept developed by Etienne Wegner and others.

The key features of a Communities of Practice are: domain, community, practice, identity and learning. In terms of our Communities of Practice our ‘domain’ (area of common interest) is suicide prevention. The community part relates to our collective shared experience of having been impacted by suicide which makes us a community.  The learning part refers to a desire to continue to grow and learn whilst contributing to suicide prevention in the Brisbane North.

About the Communities of Practice (CoP) – Brisbane North Primary Health Network

The Lived Experience Suicide Prevention Communities of Practice (CoP) is community led, with support from Roses in The Ocean, as part of the National Suicide Prevention Trial. This work is supported by funding from Brisbane North PHN through the Australian Government’s PHN Program.

The CoP is a newly funded initiative to help enrich the work of the Brisbane North Primary Health Network.  The role of the Communities of Practice is to establish our ‘footprint’ in the suicide prevention sector and to use our knowledge and lived experience expertise to contribute to suicide prevention initiatives and build capacity.

If you have a lived experience of suicide and reside in the Brisbane North PHN region, we are keen for you to join us and help grow the Communities of Practice. As a new entity there is plenty of interesting and meaningful ways to be involved through  various opportunities in community suicide prevention and by contributing to develop and establish governance processes and systems to assist the group operate effectively as a Communities of Practice. The ultimate aim for the CoP is to be self-sustaining over time. The Communities of Practice is an opportunity for people with a lived experience of suicide to participate in a variety of different ways in suicide prevention initiatives and activities in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region.

Key Activities of the Suicide Prevention Communities of Practice

The CoP meets monthly for 1-2 hours. At the meeting, the CoP discusses key current and planned activities that CoP members are involved in or are seeking to get involved in. For example, at present the CoP members have taken up a mix of opportunities both voluntary and occasionally paid including : public speaking at events where there is a request for a trained lived experience suicide prevention speaker, being a member of a project steering committee or working group, being interviewed both by the media and sometimes for academics and others for research and new trial projects, attending and volunteering at suicide prevention related publicly attended events and many other ways of volunteering within the community. As part of the ‘learning’ component of a CoP we will also seek to find relevant training and education opportunities to assist members to continue to learn and grow and to help better inform good practice suicide prevention in the regions.