How to talk to somebody about suicide
Discussing suicidal thoughts may seem like a daunting prospect. Learn to shape these discussions with clear and practical advice.Read more
Suicide is a leading cause of death among Australians. What can you do to help?
Suicide is a significant public health problem in Australia. 3,128 people died from suicide in 2017, making it the main cause of death among people aged 15 to 44 — and the 13th most common cause overall. As with previous suicide statistics, males outnumber females three to one. And for each person who dies from suicide, another 20 may have attempted it.
“…the more people talk about mental health, the more normal and natural getting help will seem to individuals who may be struggling…”
Australia’s national suicide statistics are alarming, yet the numbers alone do not reveal how far-reaching and damaging the full impact of suicide is on the community.
All suicides affect a huge number of people. When someone takes their own life, it affects their family, friends, neighbours, workplace, sports club, school, church, pets, service providers, the people at the local shop, emergency services who attend the scene…
Each one of us can help reduce the impact of suicide in our community. Here are some of the best ways to go about it.
One direct and immediate way in which you can make a difference is to keep an eye out for the people you know.
A more indirect way to help reduce the suicide rate is to raise awareness of the issue.
Not only will these kinds of activities make more people aware of the issues as well as organisations like Suicide Call Back Service; they will also help ‘normalise’ (more on that below) the idea that help is available and that it’s ok to get support.
Another way in which you can help reduce the suicide rate is to make yourself heard when it comes to government action.
All these proactive measures are important steps that can help reduce the suicide rate. However, if there’s one thing that arguably can make a serious difference to the suicide rate, it is how we talk and think about those things that compound suicide.
Specifically, it’s important to address the stigma still commonly associated with things like mental health and getting help.
There is no simple solution to Australia’s suicide problem. There is, however, much that you can do in person and in your community. No single action on its own will bring about the necessary change. However, the more people talk about mental health and getting help, the more normal and natural it will seem to individuals who may be struggling.
If you are worried about someone, and need someone to talk to, call the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 to speak to a counsellor.
If it is an emergency, please call 000.
A person who is thinking about suicide may give some clues or suicide signs to those around them that indicate they are distressed. These are often referred to as suicide warning signs. Suicide prevention starts with recognising these suicidal warning signs and taking them seriously.Read more
Depression is not always obvious and there can be many signs something is wrong. If you’re worried about your friend, here are some things to look out for.Read more