World Suicide prevention day is an International awareness day that falls on the 10th September each year. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness. Suicide is traumatic for those left behind following the sudden loss of a loved family member, friend, colleague, neighbour or someone who touched our life.
Let’s talk Fact’s
- Over 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt
- More than 3,000 Australians died by suicide in 2017
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age
- In 2017, about 75% of people who died by suicide were males and 25% were female.
- Globally suicide is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, that equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.
Causes of Suicide
Sadly, many suicides occur out of the blue. So, what really prompts a person to take his or her life?
Just like people, every suicide is different. Many are brought on from overwhelming feelings of anger, despair, hopelessness or panic. As individuals we can either cope with these feelings or they consume our thoughts, and this is how they evolve into a mental illness.
Risk Factors for suicide
- Depression, psychosis or anxiety
- Loss of a significant person in their lives
- Traumatic stress
- Substance abuse and impulsivity
- Personal crisis or life crisis
- Loss of a support network, financial difficulties
- An illness or medication that effects a person’s mood
- Bullying, shaming and humiliation
What did I miss? What could I have done?
Many people get on with their day to day lives and their family and friends aren’t aware of the struggles they are dealing with, so when a suicide happens many family members are left with a lot of unanswered questions and feelings of guilt. They feel they must have missed something.
If you have a feeling that someone that you care about isn’t behaving as they usually would, perhaps they have gained or lost weight, stopped looking after themselves, withdrawn from activities or hobbies. Please stop and ask them R U OK? It’s a simple question but it might end up being a conversation that changes a life.
Why more men than women?
Compared to women, men are three times more likely to die by suicide in Australia. Why are men struggling and what can be done to help?
One key element is communication. Women are more willing to open up and share their problems, whereas men tend to bottle them up. Why, because for generations men have been encouraged to be “strong”.
Having to worry about finances and being able to provide for their family can enhance mental health issues and result in a person feeling depressed and stressed. MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationship concerns. Contact them on 1300 78 99 78 to talk to a councillor anywhere, anytime.
How can we stop this?
Suicides may be preventable. Knowing that there is help, is key in preventing future suicides.
You are not alone, around one in every two of us will experience a mental illness at some stage in our lives. Everybody feels down or sad, but it is important to know when these feelings change and become more than a temporary feeling. Speaking with a health professional is the only way to get a mental health diagnosis. If you are having suicidal thoughts it is imperative to seek help immediately by calling 000, with help you will be able to overcome these thoughts and feelings.
With medical intervention, counselling and social support, in time, many of those people who have attempted suicide or had thoughts of killing themselves go on to live full, productive lives.
How to get help
If the situation is urgent and you or someone else is in immediate danger, do not leave the person alone and call 000.
Support Services that operate 24/7, 7 days a week:
- Lifeline (13 11 14, www.lifeline.org.au)
- Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467, www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au)
- Beyond Blue Support Service (1300 22 4636, www.beyondblue.org.au)
- MensLine Australia (1300 78 99 78, www.mensline.org.au)
- Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800, www.kidshelpline.com.au)
Connectablity Australia can provide family counselling for young people 9-18 years and their families. They support people with a wide range of issues including:
- Conflict at home
- Family breakdown
- Personal issues
- Problems at school
- Challenging/at risk behaviours
- Drug/Alcohol related problems
- Mental health issues
- Relationship difficulties
- Sexuality issues
- Out of home care
How to get involved in Newcastle
Would you like an opportunity to show your support?
“Walk with Us”. Join Lifeline as we walk to raise awareness, and to remember those lost to suicide and unite to prevent further deaths. Last year more than 700 people participated in the Newcastle to Mereweather walk, register today and join them.
When: Tuesday 10 September 2019
Where: Dixon Park Surf Club
Walk is from Dixon Park Surf Club to Merewether Baths (return).
Time: 5.30am – commences at 6am.