Beyond Blue is marking World Suicide Prevention Day 2021 by sharing the stories of eight people who found a way through suicidal thoughts.
In line with this year’s WSPD theme ‘creating hope through action’, Beyond Blue is sharing stories from Ashley, Billy, Geoff, George, Jake, Leilani, Natalie, and Rach to give people hope that suicidal thoughts can pass, and to remind them that seeking support is a crucial step towards recovery.
In Australia, one in eight people will consider suicide at some point in their lives in response to overwhelming emotional distress or pain.
Beyond Blue Chair The Hon Julia Gillard AC said Beyond Blue was sharing stories from people with lived experience of suicidality with the aim of making a useful contribution to public discussion about suicide.
“We’re sharing these personal stories to provide people with some hope and reassurance that there is a way through suicidal thoughts, that support is available.”
“We want to let people experiencing suicidal thoughts know that Beyond Blue is here and we also offer guidance about how to support a loved one who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts.”
New data shows the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Beyond Blue’s support services, which experienced a 53 per cent increase in demand in the year to September 1 compared to pre-COVID levels in 2018/19.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said there were practical things all of us could do to support people experiencing suicidal thoughts.
“Research shows that sharing stories of hope and recovery can be beneficial for those experiencing suicidality, particularly young people,” Ms Harman said.
“People who think about taking their own life say the most important thing family, friends and colleagues can do is listen, show they care, and offer support.
“If you are worried about someone, it’s okay to ask them directly: are you thinking about suicide? Talking about suicide doesn’t encourage someone to take their own life.”
Beyond Blue’s website has advice on how to have a conversation with someone you are worried about.
People can also download the BeyondNow app – a suicide safety plan that’s easy to access in a crisis. The app, which allows users to make a personalised crisis plan, has been downloaded 47,000 times since early 2020.
It’s been adapted to reflect that people’s usual social opportunities may have changed due to the pandemic.
Beyond Blue Support Service - 1300 22 4636 or beyondblue.org.au/get-support
Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service - 1800 512 348 or coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au