We want to start a conversation this World Suicide Prevention Day about how to help someone, or how to get help, during a suicidal crisis.
Each year, World Suicide Prevention Day raises awareness about suicide and how we as a community can take steps to help prevent it.
We know that for the thousands of people who attempt or die by suicide each year, many more affected as they support someone who experiences suicidal thoughts and behaviours,or grieve following a suicide.
In support of the 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day theme of 'Connect, Communicate, Care' Beyond Blue is giving voice to the often untold stories of those who have stepped-in (intervened) to help someone who is suicidal.
Why your story matters
Many people still feel confused about how they can support someone who is feeling suicidal and needs help.
By sharing your story of offering your help, or getting help at a time or crisis, you will help Beyond Blue to educate the community about how to support someone who is suicidal.
We want the community to understand that they do not need to feel afraid of having a conversation about suicide, and that they can take steps to help someone keep safe.
We acknowledge that this topic may bring up difficult emotions for many people. We encourage you to reflect on this and decide if this activity is something you feel able to take part in at the moment.
Important information about taking part
** To get the most out of this activity. Please take time to read the important information below. We acknowledge that there is a lot! **
Stories will appear on a special page of the Beyond Blue website during the week of World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September). After this time they will be included in the Our Stories section of the Beyond Blue website. Some stories may also be shared on Beyond Blue's social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram (you can choose not to have your story shared in this way).
Stories will be displayed with your first name and age. You can choose an alternative name/nickname if you prefer not to use your real name.
We also ask that you submit an image that means something to you to be displayed with your story. This can be an image of artwork, a landscape or yourself (as long as your face is not shown). You must own or have permission to use this image. More details can be found in the form below.
Things to consider when writing your story
We are looking for people to share a story about help given or received at a time of suicidal crisis. This could be a time that you stepped in to help another, or a time that someone helped you.
We are seeking stories about a specific time or situation rather than about ongoing support over a period of time.
We are asking people to reflect on past experiences.
When writing your story you may like to consider:
- Who did you help/who stepped in to help you?
- What did you/the person do? (e.g. emotional support, practical help, contacted health professionals, sitting with you at a time of distress)
- How did it make you feel at the time?
- How did you feel after you helped or were helped?
- What was the outcome? (e.g. did the relationship with the person change, did you or the person get professional help, did you or the person have further periods of significant distress, did the person helping need further support themselves)
What will happen to your story
The stories we publish are designed to create a safe space to talk about suicide and the impact on people's lives.
To do this, all stories will be carefully reviewed by Beyond Blue's Suicide Prevention team and may need to be edited to removed any reference to methods of suicide. To respect the privacy of others who may be involved in your story, we will also remove information which may identify others.
If we have concerns about a persons safety, we may contact you. If your story reflects current suicidal thoughts or behaviours we will not be able to publish it.
Taking care of yourself
Writing about an experience with suicide can feel overwhelming at times. If you are distressed we encourage you to stop completing the activity, activate your support networks and look after yourself.
You may choose to call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or contact the Beyond Blue Support Service online or on 1300 22 46 36.
If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.