Thursday is R U ok? Day and I will definitely be making a post about how to have a conversation with someone you care about on the day so please come back for that one. Today I thought I would spend a little time talking about suicide awareness and the resources available for you to access help.
Over the past decade approximately 2100 people have died by suicide in Australia each year. Since 1999 we have seen a general decrease in the rates of suicide in Australia, with men still more likely to die by suicide but women more likely to attempt suicide. Not only have deaths by suicide decreased we have also seen a shift in some patterns with the highest risk of suicide in Australia going from young men to older men aged 85 years and above and secondly men aged 40-44 years of age. But sex and age are not the only risk factors for suicide remote and rural areas, people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin and those identified with a mental illness are also at higher risk than the general population ( you can read more about these in the Mindframe resources book)
I had the opportunity in 2005 -2010 to work with the Hunter Institute of Mental Health on the MindFrame suite of projects funded under the National Suicide Prevention Framework. I was fortunate to work with someone who is passionate about the work she does and that of her team about the important role that we can play as one person, a community and a nation in changing our attitude, beliefs and behaviours around mental health and suicide. If you are interested you can watch Jaelea talk about this in the clip below.
Raising awareness in the community and offering help and support of help seeking behaviour is an important factor in suicide prevention. This Thursday is R U ok day. It is an opportunity to start a conversation with someone you are worried about. To raise awareness around suicide, breakdown the myths and stigma associated with getting help when you are struggling. An opportunity to make a change as just one person. It’s never hopeless, one person can make a difference. You can make a difference. Just ask R U ok?
If you need some help in finding support for someone or for yourself then check out the community resources, online services, applications and websites and emergency contact details found on this Blog. You can also use the Skype Drop-In times with the online counsellor to help identify the right service to help a friend, or get some advice about how to ask the question and have a conversation about helping someone you are worried about.
Just ask R U ok?