Lifeskills program wins national award

In September, the City of Melville’s Young Men’s Lifeskills program took out top honours at the national LIFE Awards, winning the Public Sector Organisation category for its outstanding contribution to suicide prevention.

Developed in close consultation with young men, Melville’s multifaceted, flexible program is designed to engage young men and improve their capacity to deal with emotional health issues as well as encouraging help seeking behaviours.

Latest statistics indicate, of the 2,191 deaths from suicide in Australia in 2008, 78 per cent were males (Australian Bureau of Statistics 3303.0 – Causes of Death, Australia, 2008).

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said he was proud of the hard work and efforts of the Lifeskills team and congratulated them on this prestigious award. 

“This award recognises the Lifeskills program as one of the best in the country and we’re lucky to have it here in the City of Melville, and to be able to give our young men direct access to this potentially life saving education,” he said. 

“I hope this award will highlight the value of this program in helping to prevent devastating loss and hardship for young men and their families, and encourage more organisations, individuals and schools to join the program.” 

Mayor Aubrey said that Lifeskills began in 1999 to fill a gap in resources unique to young men.

“Lifeskills has a toolbox including a self help booklet and DVD as well as school and organisational based programs aimed at building resilience and imparting a ‘wisdom of hindsight’, to avert some of the devastating consequences of making the wrong decisions in alcohol and drug use, suicide and social behaviour,” he said. “Created for males aged 15 to 22 years old, Lifeskills has been highly successful, reaching more than 10,000 young men, with more than 37,000 booklets and 1,200 DVDs used throughout Australia.”

The annual Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) LIFE Awards coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day – which this year, was on Friday 10 September.

In August, the Young Men’s Lifeskills program was also awarded a Finalist’s Award in the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Healthway’s Healthier WA Awards 2010.

For more information about Lifeskills contact the City of Melville on 1300 635 845 or visit