SOKS helps to reduce youth suicide numbers

In 2010, Lester Pearson sat down with a beer and some of his mates from The Rotary Club of Gosford North and looked at what issues plagued the Central Coast’s youth.

What came out of this discussion was the disturbing numbers and facts surrounding youth suicide and from this, Save Our Kids from Suicide (SOKS) was born.


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By Jacinta Counihan


Certificate of Recognition for Rotary’s Save Our Kids Project

Mr Stewart Eldridge, member of the North Gosford Rotary club, was presented with a certificate of merit on behalf of the world-wide recognised leaders in suicide prevention, LivingWorks. He is one of many that make up the SOKS (Save Our Kids) committee, whose goal is to prevent youth suicide and enrich youth life on the Central Coast.

Ms Lindy Macgregor, after awarding Eldridge with the award, commented that the SOKS project was a perfect representation of a community’s ability to connect with one another and assist in preventing suicide. Through raising funds in order to train teachers and Counsellors on the coast, SOKS has and will continue to break the stigma around talking about suicide and decrease the numbers of young people seeing it as their only option.

To read up on specific SOKS data and their future goals in suicide prevention, access the article here

Upskilling teachers on how to identify at risk youth leads to 100 lives saved.

Providing training for over 730 teachers and community workers is no mean feat but that’s just what Gosford North Rotary, with the help of Lifeline Central Coast, are doing with their SOKS (Save Our Kids) program.

Sadly, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians ranging from 15 years to 44 years of age. So this initiative is essential in enabling our teachers in not only knowing what to look for in the way of warning signs, but empowering them with the confidence to ask the tough question, “Are you considering suicide?”

It may be a confronting conversation to start, but in order to assist our young people in getting the help they need, its one that’s most definitely worth having.

To hear first hand how powerful this training has been from a teacher on the Central Coast, read the article linked here.

How Gosford North Rotary and Lifeline Central Coast joined forces to prevent youth suicide and enrich local youth.

It was a LivingWorks safeTALK presentation which brought Gosford North Rotary and Lifeline Central Coast members together in 2012 with a shared vision to improve youth experience on the Central Coast. The Gosford North Rotary Save Our Kids Project (SOKS) was born, equipped with a dual project, one for youth advancement and the other to prevent youth Suicide.

With most of the training taking place in the 36 secondary schools throughout the coast, SOKS training programs like the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop and the Mind Your Sports Mates awareness training for athletic youth aim to assist all 23,000 students and 2,400 school staff. With such massive reach, SOKS is advancing the number of trained caregivers who are able to identify at risk youth, therefore enabling them to find the help they need and decreasing rates of youth suicide and self harm locally.

To learn more about this partnership and how they continue to succeed in this area, check out the ‘SOKS Project’ write up via this link.