September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention month. Suicide attempts are preventable, yet completed suicides continue to be the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15-44. Sadly, suicide attempts and completion continue to be on the rise.
Suicide is a difficult topic to talk about and one that carries a lot of stigma that stops people from supporting others or seeking help. People are scared to talk about it, afraid of intervening or even seeking help for themselves.
Deaths by suicide in Australia occur among males at a rate three times greater than that for females. However, during the past decade, there has been an increase in suicide deaths by females. The suicide rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is more than double the national rate. Deaths due to suicide completion in 2015 were reportedly 3,027.
For every death by suicide, it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt to end their lives.
What are the triggers that cause people to lose hope about their future? Anything can trigger hopelessness, such as stressful life events, trauma, mental illness, physical illness, drug or alcohol abuse, poor living circumstances are just a few.
Protective factors that make us more resilient and can reduce suicidal behaviour include supportive social relationships, a sense of control, a sense of purpose, family harmony, effective help-seeking, positive connections to good health services available.
Be the eyes and ears for your friend family and community by recognising the signs that someone may be thinking of suicide, how to talk about it openly and honestly and what to do if someone says they are not coping and need support.
There is a significant amount of information available online or people who you can call.
If you don't know how to help someone or you need help for yourself these are some of the organisations you can call or go online for further support.
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- ReachOut at au.reachout.com