Each year in Australia more than 3,000 people end their lives. This is around 8 people a day - more than the number of people who die on our roads each year. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the suicide rates are twice as high, and for young people, it is the leading cause of death.
If you are concerned that someone you know is thinking about suicide, you can help them by doing the following:
People who are at risk of suicide may:
They may also talk about a feeling of hopelessness or feeling worthless or alone, or they may talk about their death or wanting to die.
Lifeline Australia’s Head of Clinical Services, Rachel Bowes, says there are many things which can contribute to suicidal thoughts, such as a person's mood, their life circumstances and their overall mental health.
“For many people, suicidal thoughts come as a result of not being able to imagine another way out of what they are going through, or an end to their pain,” Rachel says. “They may feel like they there is no hope, and although it can be challenging to reach out, it’s vital that people experiencing suicidal thinking are connected with others and are able to share their experiences.”
Rachel says suicidal thoughts are frightening, and you may be feeling helpless and alone.
“If you are having these thoughts it is most important that you seek help and take steps to manage your safety,” Rachel says. “Put off any decision to act on these thoughts and give yourself time to get some support and to get past this difficult period. If you are struggling, please remember that you are not alone. Lifeline is here 24 hours a day, our Crisis Supporters are ready to listen. Talking through what’s worrying you can really help.”
Where possible, make an appointment with your GP quickly, and they can help you make a Mental Health Plan to assist with seeing a mental health professional. You can also speak with a counsellor at school, a teacher, or someone at an Employee Assistance Program. Some other ways to help get through tough times include:
“It’s also important for people to realise that they can make a positive difference to the lives of others. If you know someone who may be going through a difficult time, please reach out to them. Ask them if they are going ok and if they are not, work with them to get them the support they need. You can always call Lifeline alongside them to support them to talk with our Crisis Supporters.” Said Rachel.
|Lifeline’s 13 11 14 crisis support line receives a call every 30 seconds. There are more than 4,500 Crisis Supporters working with Lifeline so that no person in Australia has to face their darkest moments alone.|
|The Suicide Call Back Service provides 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people affected by suicide.|
|ReachOut has a range of information and resources relating to suicide prevention particularly relating to young people.|
|Beyond Blue offers support, advice and action to assist in suicide prevention. They also have online forums where you can share your experiences with others.|