About us - Mission



Encourage and support the co-ordination of services

  • Develop initiatives
  • Implement strategies



All objectives will give attention to suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. All objectives will take into account economic, political, social and cultural factors.

  1. Strengthen the links and networks of all relevant existing government and non-government services and personnel.
  2. Develop a database of existing resources and services relevant to suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.
  3. Disseminate information about prevention and responses to self-harming behavior in a user friendly format throughout the community.
  4. Improve awareness of relevant issues surrounding prevention of suicide and responding to self-harming behaviour throughout the community
  5. Maintain a positive relationship with media representatives and monitor and respond appropriately to the reporting of issues related to self-harm



In June 1995 the FNQ Taskforce for the Prevention of Youth Suicide was formed in response to the alarming rates of youth suicide in the region. The work of the Taskforce has continued and expanded with many initiatives developed for the community.  The Taskforce's goals are to implement, support and promote strategies which aim at the reduction of suicide and self-harm. During the year 2000, the Taskforce celebrated 5 years of work for and with the community. To be responsive to the needs of all age groups in the community, the Taskforce voted to be now called “FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce” and is now able to fill a broad role in the community. Activities are carried out under the auspices of the Dr Edward Koch Foundation.

The Taskforce continues to be a community based voluntary group that meets monthly. Members represent a wide cross section of the community and include government, service providers and community based representatives. It is the expertise that these volunteers bring with them that allows the Taskforce to achieve its initiatives. Since inception, the group believes that the initiatives of the Taskforce have made community and service providers more aware of the issues of suicide and self harm and have increased awareness of what is an appropriate level of intervention.

The Taskforce has worked collaboratively with communities to ensure that information and resources supplied by the Taskforce are helpful and relevant to individual communities. As a result, communities have benefited from having increased resources and knowledge relating to suicide and self-harm. The FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce has worked in conjunction with many other community organisations to support them in dealing with issues of suicide and self-harm, particularly counselling and community development organisations for support, information and training.



  • Advocated for an adolescent facility at the Cairns Base Hospital
  • Developed  “A Community Based Flowchart for the Management of Self Harm and Suicide” Revised 2004 edition included the Cairns Inhalent Action Group "Chroming and Sniffing Management Sheet"
  • Facilitated the provision of information and skills workshops to schools, community groups and others
  • Initiated a project funded by Queensland Health that developed profiles of Far North Queensland communities, which identified local resources and recommendations
  • Development of  a media team to monitor reports of suicide and self harm in the media
  • Development of “Suicide Prevention Handbook FNQ Edition. Awareness Prevention Support”
  • Gained support for the Cairns City Council to produce a Website for the Taskforce.  Website launched in 2001 (www.cairnscity.com/suicide/)
  •  Gained sponsorship from businesses, community agencies and government for the revision and  reprint of the “Suicide Prevention Handbook FNQ Edition. Awareness Prevention Support”
  • Developed logo for the group
  • Production and distribution of  brochures –
      • Do you Need Help? Survival Skills for Friends and Family dealing with depression, self-harm and suicide
      • Attention! Canegrowers, tobacco farmers, primary producers.  You are not alone.
      • Toughin' it Out
  • Healing our Way Project - Development of culturally appropriate resources for the Indigenous People of Yarrabah on information and advice on people who are self-harming, their families and community and those at risk of suicide.  Outcomes:
      • Healing our Way brochure - After a Suicide
      • Healing our Way brochure - Self harm
      • Healing our Way DVD - Self harm and After a Suicide
  • Continues to fulfill a broad role in the community
  • Qld Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Conference 2008 – Focusing on Indigenous, multi-cultural and other minority groups


Resource Unit

The FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce together with the University of Queensland and The Young People at Risk Project (Tropical Public Health Unit) compiled a library of resources for community use. The resource unit is located at the Dr Edward Koch Foundation premises, 6 Aplin Street, Cairns



Taskforce meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month starting at 9.30am at the Dr Edward Koch Foundation, Unit 1, 78 Anderson Street, Manunda. Cairns. The role of chairperson is held by the Chief Executive Officer of the Dr Edward Koch Foundation.  All are welcome to attend.


Dr Edward Koch Foundation

The Dr Edward Koch Foundation established in 1995 to support organisations and activities that alleviate ill health in North Queensland.  Since its inception the Foundation has focused on projects that enhance health and well-being at a population level.  The Foundation’s objectives are:

  • promoting and initiating innovative, preventative and educational programs to improve the health of the community;
  • supporting and conducting health research and development projects. 

Much of the information provided on this website has been drawn from the “Preventing Suicide – An Awareness and Support Handbook” the 5th edition published by the Far North Queensland Suicide Prevention Taskforce.  The contents of the Handbook are ©Copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission of the Dr Edward Koch Foundation. 

The Dr Edward Koch Foundation and the Far North Queensland Suicide Prevention Taskforce are not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of the information supplied on this website nor for any errors or omissions.

For more information about the Taskforce and the Foundation - P 07 4053 6757  



Thank You to Our Sponsors