Yarning plan to cut suicide rate in Wide Bay region

MENTAL health experts will use yarning circles to help prevent suicides among indigenous people in the Wide Bay region.

The Yarnings for Life project will be developed over the next year to help build skills for discussing suicide and its prevention.

As part of Queensland Mental Health Week, ConNetica has been awarded $49,910 to create the program and pilot the materials among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members.

ConNetica already delivers a Conversations for Life program but this will be tailored to indigenous culture.

Yarning is an informal conversation that is culturally recognised in indigenous communities as a way to talk about something, someone or receive information.

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the best opportunity to make a positive and meaningful difference to a person's wellbeing often arose long before they asked for help.

He said this funding, part of $450,000 granted statewide this week, would improve mental health through greater social inclusion and community connectedness.

"Good mental health is more than the absence of mental illness - it is about healthy relationships and active social connections with family and community," he said.

"Strong mental health... enables us to cope with the everyday stresses of life, make a productive contribution to our community and achieve our full potential.

"Maintaining positive mental health means people in our community of Maryborough will be more resistant to mental illness and psychological distress."