Beyond Blue encourages Australians to get involved in World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on Thursday 10 September, a day aimed at mobilising people globally to take action to prevent suicide.
The theme this year is Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives. It reflects both the importance of having a network of social connections for maintaining good mental health and the importance of supporting people who may be going through a tough time.
In Australia, WSPD also coincides with RUOK? Day, which encourages Australians to check in with people around them to ensure they aren’t struggling in silence to deal with mental health conditions.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said WSPD provides a valuable opportunity for people to learn more about depression and anxiety, which if left undiagnosed and untreated, can increase suicide risk.
“In Australia, suicide is the leading cause of death for males and females aged between 15 and 44. In a typical year, about 2,500 Australians die by suicide. This is nearly seven people every day,” she said.
“If a person you know seems to be struggling, reach out and connect with them. Showing that you care, could make a huge difference in their life. If you are struggling yourself, you might be amazed at how much better you feel if you reach out for support, get treatment and start taking steps towards recovery.
“Beyond Blue’s website has a guide to help people Have the Conversation with someone they think is doing it tough, and there is information for people who have attempted suicide and their loved ones. The Way Back booklets, developed by Beyond Blue and the Hunter Institute of Mental Health and funded by The Movember Foundation, include frank accounts and practical advice from people who have attempted suicide, and can be found at www.beyondblue.org.au/thewayback.
“If you want to talk to someone, contact the Beyond Blue Support Service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1300 22 4636. The Support Service can also be reached via web chat (3PM to midnight AEST) or email at www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support.”
For information about World Suicide Prevention Day events in your local area, or to register your own event, visit http://wspd.org.au/events/. You can also learn more about RUOK? Day at http://yourstruly.org.au/.