Beyond Blue has developed new Suicide Prevention resources to provide advice, information and hope for people who have been suicidal or otherwise affected by suicide.
The resources were launched on World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on 10 September 2015. The theme of WSPD this year was ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’, reflecting the importance of talking about suicide risk and prevention openly and safely.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures over the past five years showed there were more than 2,500 suicides per year. It is believed there are at least 75,000 suicide attempts each year and 370,000 people, or one in eight Australians, think about taking their own life.
Among Beyond Blue’s new resources are videos of people talking about their personal experience of suicide, including people who have been suicidal, others who have attempted suicide, lost someone to suicide or been exposed to suicide in their job.
The people featured are part of Beyond Blue’s online reference group blueVoices. While talking openly about their experiences in the videos, they touch on what helped them get through the really difficult times, and what didn’t, and they mention Beyond Blue resources on where to get help.
To mark WSPD, Beyond Blue, for the first time, held a safe and moderated live chat session with a blueVoices member called Shane, who tried to take his own life, but has now recovered. The conversation can be read here.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said that Beyond Blue’s work in suicide prevention aims to inform all Australians about common signs that may indicate a person is thinking about suicide, how to talk about it, and where to get help – including how to support someone after a suicide attempt.
“These new resources are not only aimed at people who may currently be suicidal or who have attempted suicide in the past, but anyone who may have been affected by suicide in a family or workplace,” she said.
“Our live chat on the Beyond Blue website today is a good example of the support provided in our community forums, as we know that sharing stories and experiences breaks down stigma and encourages people to reach out to one another.
“We have been running community forums for a number of years and suicide is a topic that comes up regularly. We have tried and tested systems and safeguards to keep these conversations safe for everybody involved. If someone is in crisis, we get them help. We always operate on the principle of do no harm.”
If you are concerned about someone or feel they are at immediate risk of suicide, call Triple 000. Lifeline crisis support is available 24 hours a day on 13 11 14. For short-term, solutions-focused counselling, Beyond Blue’s 24/7 Support Service has trained mental health professionals available via 1300 22 4636 or www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support.