As Deni MHAG continues its campaign “We care about your Mental Health”, this week, we talk about suicide. We acknowledge that this subject leaves many people feeling uncomfortable and for others can be very confronting. Please be aware of the helplines below, for anyone who might be feeling distressed about this article, and needing to reach out for help.
“Suicide touches many people’s lives on daily basis. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44 and people in rural populations are 2 times more likely to die by suicide. This is a very real health issue, that cannot be ignored and needs to be talked about ‘Mrs Liebenberg, member of Deni MHAG says .
There are many myths around having conversations about suicide, one being that talking about suicide is a bad idea and might be interpreted as encouragement or putting ideas into people’s heads. “This is simply just not true “, Ms Liebenberg said.
According the World Health Organisation, given the widespread stigma around suicide, most people who are thinking about suicide don’t know who to talk to about it. Rather than “encouraging “suicidal behaviour (as the myth suggests), talking openly about what is going on can give them other options, or the time to rethink their decision.
“People who have been suicidal widely report the overwhelming relief they feel when someone finally reaches out to them and ask the question of whether they might be thinking of suicide or ending their life” Ms Liebenberg says. This can make all the difference in the outcomes for people who might be contemplating suicide, and we can all be a part of this in our community. “
There are many initiatives and training out there to help people have safe conversations about suicide, when they might have concern for a mate, a work colleague or a family member.
The QPR Suicide Prevention training is online and only takes an hour. The training is free for individuals and organisations throughout the Murrumbidgee region. This training can be accessed through https://mphn.org.au/qpr
QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer - the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.
QPR training will provide you with:
· Knowledge and skills to identify warning signs that someone may be suicidal
· Confidence to talk to them about suicidal thoughts
· Connect them with professional care
“Suicide is real. It happens around us. It touches families and communities. By talking about it, we are able to break down the stigma; we are able to learn about it; we can let go of the fear of saying the wrong thing, and we can all become part of making a difference and potentially saving lives. Jump online and spend an hour learning more about suicide, and how to help in three simple steps”.
Deni MHAG will also be rolling out more Mental health First Aid courses in our community.
These are face-to-face courses teaching participants how to recognise signs and symptoms of mental health problems and skills are taught to assist someone to seek appropriate professional help. People seeking more information on this can call Lourene Liebenberg on 0428281060.
IMPORTANT: If the contents of this article causes distress and there is a need for support please call Accessline on 1800 800 944, or Lifeline 13 11 44 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.