Suicide Prevention is Everyone’s Business
Every day across Australia, 8 people die by suicide – more than double the national daily road toll. For people in South Australia aged between 15 and 44, suicide is the leading cause of death.
Sonder is committed to reducing this impact by providing quality, free mental health care support to the communities we serve and by supporting awareness campaigns.
This year on World Suicide Prevention Day, we want to start an honest conversation about suicide and eliminate stigma.
It can be hard to talk
When you’re feeling suicidal, taking the step to tell someone can feel like an almost impossible task.
Will (28) struggled with suicidal thoughts on and off for many years, from the age of 16:
“I feel tremendous guilt and shame when I have suicidal thoughts, like I shouldn’t be having them. I think it comes from society’s expectations of men to be strong and not get dragged down by feelings.”
“When I have opened up to someone, it doesn’t make the feelings go away, but knowing someone understands why I’m acting the way I’m acting takes away some of the stress I’m carrying and allows me to cope a little easier.”
What if I’m worried about someone I know?
A lot of people worry that if they talk openly or even mention suicide they will make things worse, but this is not the case.
You don’t need to be a psychologist or a doctor to talk to someone about how they are feeling. Anyone can start a life-saving conversation.
The most important things you can do are:
- Listen calmly and patiently, without judgement
- Express empathy and reassure them that it’s OK to talk about
- Not minimise or try to fix all of the person’s problems
For more tips about how to talk to someone you are worried about, check out this helpful guide from our friends at Beyond Blue
How can I support World Suicide Prevention Day?
On social media, use the hashtags #YouCanTalk and #WorldSuicidePreventionDay on your posts to help shine a light on suicide, encourage conversations and reduce stigma.
Angie Felekis, Sonder’s Clinical Lead for Suicide Prevention Services, says of the campaign:
“Through greater education and awareness, working in partnership and being able to recognise the warning signs, not only are we helping to reduce the stigma, but we can see the bigger picture of suicide prevention and ultimately provide lifesaving support.”
As someone who has experienced suicidal thoughts first-hand, Will reflected
“Not enough people understand why individuals feel suicidal, or they have negative attitudes towards it. I think [World Suicide Prevention Day] is good because the more people know about different options to get help, the less likely they are to get to that point of taking action.”
What kind of support does Sonder provide?
You can talk to us about how you have been feeling, and find out about the different types of support available to you.
Angie explains, “Sonder’s Suicide Prevention Service provides specialised support to individuals who are at risk of suicide or who have attempted to take their own life, through holistic and inclusive assessment, intervention and safety planning.”
“The program is aimed at improving a person’s coping abilities by identifying their needs and preferences for treatment, always keeping in mind the goal of person-centred recovery.”
Worried about troubling thoughts you have been having, or just not feeling quite right?
Drop by and speak to someone at Sonder’s Walk-in Mental Health Service, available between 5pm and 10pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, including public holidays.
To book an appointment with Sonder’s Suicide Prevention Service, give us a call on 8209 0700.
If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please call 000 or attend your local hospital emergency department.
If you have found any of the topics discussed in this article distressing, please reach out – either to Sonder, another support service, or someone you trust.
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