The theme for 2019 ‘Shining a Light on World Suicide Prevention Day’. World Suicide Prevention Day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray said, “Never before have we seen so much political attention focused on suicide prevention. Governments at a state and national level are focused and some are now calling suicide prevention a priority.”
“We believe that through collaborative effort and shared purpose, we can achieve our shared vision of a world without suicide,” said Ms Murray.
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.
- In 2017, preliminary data showed a total of 3,128 deaths by suicide in Australia.
- Men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women and ABS data (2012) shows more people die from suicide than road deaths.
- Suicide prevention is about more than just mental ill-health. Recently the ABS released a report which identified a personal history of self-harm, family disruption, relationship problems and economic problems as key psychosocial risk factors that could contribute to suicide.
How can you help?:
- You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a good friend and a great listener.
- You don’t need to be a clinician, a GP, or a nurse to check-in with someone you are worried about.
- Trust your instincts and access suicide prevention resources to assist you in having the discussion. Some resources include:
- You Can Talk – https://www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/youcantalk
- Beyond Blue- https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/worried-about-someone-suicidal/having-a-conversation-with-someone-you’re-worried-about
- Suicide Call Back Service- https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/resource/discussing-suicide-how-to-talk-to-somebody-about-suicide/
- It is better to reach out than avoid the person for fear of getting the conversation wrong. Experts generally agree that asking someone whether they are thinking about suicide is unlikely to make the situation worse or ‘put ideas in their head’.
- By acting as ‘eyes and ears’ and reaching out to anyone who’s going through a tough time we can show them they’re supported and encourage them to access help sooner.
- It’s time to ask R U OK? if you notice a change, no matter how small. https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask
- Some conversations can be too big for friends and family. If you’re worried about someone and feel they need professional support, encourage them to connect with a trusted health professional like their GP
- Most people don’t want to die, they just want their pain to stop.