South West Sydney Local Health District

It’s sobering to think about suicide. Suicide has such an enormous impact on those around the person. There are many services that can help, yet it can also be very difficult to find the right support at a time of suicidal distress.


When we first learned about NSW Health’s Safe Havens, they seem like such a great idea. There are approximately 20 Safe Havens across NSW, each designed as an alternative to emergency departments when people are experiencing suicidal distress.


The Campbelltown and Liverpool Safe Havens are staffed by people with lived experience. Both offer a range of options for guests, including the offer of someone to talk to, a safe place to be quiet, advice about appropriate services and/or the option to develop a safety plan.


The big challenge for South Western Sydney LHD was the very low levels of awareness – while Safe Havens were open in the area, many people did not know about the service.


Following a community workshop we undertook a series of interviews and focus groups, to understand the best ways to get the message out. A key insight that emerged was the low community and health professional awareness of Safe Havens and what they offer. Based on this insight we designed a creative concept that ‘shows what’s inside’. This welcoming and authentic concept was then used in a comprehensive communications kit, including flyers, brochures, signage, digital out of home advertising, a landing page, videos, photography and social media.

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