Suicide awareness

We need to talk about suicide awareness

It’s not an easy subject, but like all tough conversations, discussing suicide and the impact it has on our lives is very important.

When someone takes their own life the impact is far reaching. Families, friends, colleagues and communities may all experience significant grief and loss.

It doesn’t discriminate, so if you think someone you know is at risk, supporting them to reach out and connect with people who can help has never been more important.

Here are a few tips that might help you to support someone you feel might be at risk.

Tip #1 – Don’t ignore the facts

The statistics around suicide are concerning, and more importantly, they are not statistics, they are people.

Nine Australians die every day by suicide. That’s more than double the national road toll.
1 in 4 Australians suffer from loneliness and have no one to talk to.
For every life lost to suicide, the effects are felt by up to 135 people.
Over 65,000 Australians attempt to take their own life every year.


Tip #2 – Be aware of the warning signs

Everyone is different but being aware of common warning signs can help us support people who may be at risk.

Non-verbal warning signs
  • Social isolation
  • A persistent drop in mood
  • Rapid weight fluctuations
  • Uncharacteristically agitated and irritable behaviour
  • Giving away sentimental possessions
Verbal warning signs
  • Feeling worthless – ‘I wish I wasn’t alive’ or ‘My friends and family would be happier without me’
  • Feeling guilty – ‘It’s all my fault, I’m in the wrong, I’m to blame’
  • Feeling trapped – ‘I can’t see another way out of this’
Additional risk factors
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Social isolation
  • Relationship issues (divorce/separation)
  • Financial stress
  • Physical an/or psychological illnesses


Tip #3 – Reach out and connect

If you think a person you know is thinking about suicide or seems to be struggling, simply reaching out to them could be vital.

  • Suggest meeting at a place where they will be comfortable
  • Let them know they are not alone
  • Be non-judgmental, don’t criticise or blame them
  • Ask them open ended questions and reassure them that you are here to listen
  • Encourage them to reach out to professional support and if needed, get support yourself

Tip #4 – Promote available support

Confidential and free support services are available. Share them with colleagues, friends and family and consider holding a fundraising or awareness event in your workplace.

Lifeline – 13 11 14 QLife – 1800 184 527
Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800 MensLine Australia – 1300 789 978
Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636 Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

 

Download tip sheet as a PDF

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