Updated: Oct 2, 2020
On average 65,000 Australians attempt to take their lives every year!
On average 8 Australians die every day by suicide, 75% are male (lifeline.org.au).
Each year those numbers increase and with the current global circumstances we should expect to see around a 13% increase over 5 years!
This is a crisis!
September is Suicide Prevention Month, followed closely by Mental Health Awareness month in October, so it’s a great reminder of the importance of checking in. Checking in with mates, family, co-workers, importantly checking in with ourselves. Sometimes we need to be reminded to check in with ourselves first, survival starts with me being ok, and then I can attend to others needs. If you haven’t asked yourself recently, let me ask you, are you ok???
I’m a huge advocate for saying it out loud, it feels better, even if you can only spare the energy to share with one other human. Suicide survival starts with talking about it, we need to start saying it out loud to each other if we are going to keep surviving.
I encourage mental health issues becoming a part of routine conversations, at the dinner table, when you bump into someone at the supermarket. We can sometimes prance around the question, “how are you?”, but when you look someone in the eyes and say “are you ok”, it has weight and importance, let’s just make a point to get better at asking the question…
During this time I think it is also important to pay respects to the victims affected by suicide, those who are no longer with us and those who carried on whilst feeling unbearable absence and heartache. “For each life lost to suicide, the impacts are felt by up to 135 people, including family members, work colleagues, friends, first responders at the time of death.” (lifeline.org.au). I heartbreakingly state that a large portion of the people I know have been affected by suicide in some way.
I also think we should be discussing that men are 75% more likely to take their own lives! That is huge. Let’s make a point of checking in with our male friends and other vulnerable groups like the LGBTI+ community, rural communities, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples, lonely people.
Take action and reach out to someone you know, or speak out if you need to share pain.
We’re in this together.
The Rise Foundation is an organisation who are doing amazing things for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and we are proud to be able to donate a portion of September sales to support their incredible work.
Head over to their website for information about their Mental Health First Aid courses, schools program and other community events raising awareness and funds for mental health.
If this article has triggered you in any way, or if you or someone you know needs help: