About Us

We are providing a new approach to show family and friends how to lessen the risk of attempted suicide and death from suicide in someone close to them. This is a huge problem all around the world.

In Tough Times Text is a family / community-driven suicide prevention initiative, supplementing conventional care if that is available.

The direct involvement of close contacts brings emotionally powerful forces to bear in a life and death situation, at no cost to the patient, family or health service. We request your help in providing publicity for what we do, and in sending us more high-impact texts and stories of survival to help others.
Our core message is

“You would never advise a friend to die; tell yourself what you’d tell a friend”.

Suicide is the commonest cause of death and injury in Australians age 15 to 45, male or female (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

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Plus suicide deaths per year
(Australian Bureau of Statistics)
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Suicide attempts per year
(research estimate)
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People consider suicide in a year in Australia
(research estimate)

Kristin Michaels

Chair
Kristin has a number of years of involvement and leadership within the healthcare industry in both public and private sectors. She has experience in organisational improvement and development of robust collaborations and partnerships, and governance experience in acute, aged care, community health and primary care.

Kristin has served as Chair of the Board at Yea District Memorial Hospital and is a Governor at the Windemere Foundation. In her work life, Kristin runs a national peak body in the healthcare sector operating in each State of Australia. A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Kristin also has extensive experience as a professional mentor and executive coach and is a qualified futurist.

Clinical Associate Professor David Horgan

Founder & Medical Director
MB BCH BAO MRCPSYCH DPM MPHIL FRANZCP MD(Melb) FRCPEdin Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne Previously Senior Specialist , Royal Melbourne Hospital Consultant Psychiatrist in Private Practice

Clinical Associate Professor David Horgan did his medical education in Dublin. He has 6 specialist qualifications in psychiatry. He moved to the University of Melbourne and to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is mainly involved now in private practice, particularly treating resistant depression and high suicide risk on an outpatient basis on referral from other psychiatrists.

He has an intense commitment to community suicide prevention. He established an Australia-wide freecall telephone suicide prevention service in 1997. He also established in the early 2000’s depression.com.au, suicideprevention.com.au and aftersuicide.com.au as community services. He subsequently established the registered Harm Prevention charity Australian Suicide Prevention Foundation, and he has worked with the Irish authorities to bring similar services into the Irish Republic.

Dr Horgan has been heavily involved over many years in lecturing to medical students, to GPs and also to psychiatrists, He has published in the areas of combined antidepressants, unusual medications and intensive patient contact, in an effort to reduce the suffering, job loss and reduce the suffering, job loss and relationship damage caused by depression in the community. He aims to help reduce the suicide and attempted suicide rates.

Simon Dwyer

Director
Simon joined the Foundation having founded a charitable fund, of which he is the chairman and the “face”, aimed at assisting families affected by suicide within the Ballarat community. In 2017 Simon was a finalist in the Australian Mental Health Awards.

Simon has a diverse background as a funeral director, creating and nourishing a volunteer cohort, community manager of Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, restaurant manager, teacher and 5 star hotel management.

Thomas Green

Director
Tom has a background as a digital marketing strategist and growth consultant, entrepreneur & a Director of Business Development directing organisations on their technology/digital strategic direction during the age of digital disruption, specifically focused on how to enhance/optimise the customer experience, whilst increasing reach and decreasing costs. He is practised in considering and mitigating risks arising from the security and integrity of data (from a regulatory and privacy perspective), IT systems availability and performance, to the larger business risk (and human cost in this instance) that comes from not being digitally competitive.

John Hardy

Director
John has enjoyed a career in telecommunications and IT, executive search and coaching and mentoring culminating in executive positions in Australia & Europe. His experience covers global marketing and management roles in the sales, marketing and services functions. He spent some years in France setting up and running a worldwide organisation dedicated to the Telco industry sector before returning to Australia and joining Motorola to launch the Pacific arm of their cellular infrastructure division. He became the international vice president responsible for Telstra, one of Motorola’s twenty global accounts, with responsibility for overall account strategy and the global executive relationship.

John joined ASPF in 2008. John has extensive experience in strategy development and implementation, technology, sales & marketing and client relationship & contract management. He is a Fellow of the Australian Company Directors Association and has held commercial and industry Board positions. John holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration in addition to his Science degree.

Mary Rose Morgan

Director, Treasurer
Mary Rose joined ASPF as a director in 2006 after a career in industrial relations and as a senior manager and deputy CEO of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. She was a director of a community bank for many years and had a private practice as a tax agent. Mary Rose is actively involved in community cultural organisations, especially those involving music.

Tess Nobile

Director
Tess has a strong background in Strategic Change Management and Organisational Culture Change with over twenty years of executive and board level experience across the public, commercial & not for profit sectors with particular experience in the banking and finance, professional services and aviation industries. In an executive capacity she has worked with organisations to shift culture to achieve a specific outcome or goal in a change initiative, ensuring organisations are business ready for any strategic future state.

Tess has a Bachelors Degree in Social Science as well as qualifications in behaviour management, emotional maturity, character development & coaching and positive psychology.

She is Chair of the Leadership Mastermind Group, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an aged care volunteer, a volunteer Facilitating self leadership for the vulnerable in the community, and a volunteer mentor for children at Feel The Magic

Dr Caterina Sloan

Director
Cathy is a General Practitioner in Brighton, Melbourne She trained in Melbourne and the United Kingdom. Her initial interests were in Rural Medicine and developed a range of skills in anaesthetics, obstetrics and paediatrics. She has practised in Broome, the Torres Straits, Orbost and Horsham and had a busy practice on the Mornington Peninsula.

She is a firm believer in GPs being multi-skilled and having as wide as possible experience and has, over the last 15 years, had a great interest in mental health. She has a particular interest in the individual variation in patient’s response to medications and has been keenly interested in genetic testing for individual’s metabolism of drugs. In addition because of her extensive training in gynaecology she is interested in mental health issues relating to hormonal changes in women. She is passionate about the de-stigmatising of all types of mental illness through education and naturally about suicide prevention.

Anne Warden

Adviser to the Board
Anne’s interest in mental health promotion began when she was a Psychology Officer in the Australian Army over 20 years ago. The experience highlighted how dedicated training, early identification, treatment and rehabilitation can assist in prevention and recovery. Following this, Anne spent a decade in agency side research consulting, conducting over a thousand groups, hundreds of interviews and many workshops across many industries. This has further honed her skillset in unravelling complex human behaviours to understand why people make the decisions they do. More recently, Anne has specialised in social research and program evaluation to tailor program outcomes and interventions in a mental health environment. As well as a Masters in Applied Psychology, Anne has recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation at the University of Melbourne.

Adam Lang

Adviser to the Board
Adam is a passionate technologist, with over 20 years’ experience in technology, business intelligence and analytics. Adam brings an inimitable depth of understanding to businesses, intermediating business owner and technological capabilities. During his career he has worked at the grass roots of IT, now successfully performing turnaround of Technology Businesses; through improved business process. Growing sales teams and expanding his professional network throughout Australia and the APAC region, Adam has successfully built tech start-ups from seed funding to technical growth into clients in multiple industry sectors through to sale.

Adam has a keen focus on child and youth mental health, working with charities to transform and digitise their environment. He brings a unique understanding of the challenges faced by marginalised young people and a focus on suicide prevention in workplace health and safety. He has a personal desire to connect to those industries and see the impact he can make with positive change. Having the energy and passion to work alongside other people with similar growth mindsets to make an impact in that sector would make Adam a significant contributor to any organisation looking to transform.

The Foundation

The Australian Suicide Prevention Foundation is a registered charity focussed on providing help for those considering suicide, and for their friends and relatives affected by such an event or risk.

Our core message is “you would never advise a friend to die; tell yourself what you’d tell a friend”.

Vision: Life Matters
Mission: To help change the landscape of suicide prevention in Australia
Role:To enable networks of support that protect and help people with suicidal thoughts

Our values:
“We speak real”
We are independent and apolitical
We have lived experience

Contact Us:
admin@aspf.org