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Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths

One of the things that I did a few years ago was volunteer with Lifeline as a telephone counsellor. They give great training and then the role is a wondeful way to give back to the community while learning about suicide prevention.

Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths

 Are there things that you can do in your everyday life that help support a community-wide suicide prevention movement? If so, what do you think those things are? How might they help prevent suicide?


Well starting with mental health being more socially acceptable would most definitely make those suffereing feel more confident with reaching out and seeking help to begin with.

Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths

im sorry bout that..just thought from this side of the situation that the stigma with talking bout suicide or the prevention of it..is hard n people who have no idea what its like will not understand...im sorry...but thanks

Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths


@michine wrote:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, now more in the line of prevention... 

 Are there things that you can do in your everyday life that help support a community-wide suicide prevention movement? If so, what do you think those things are? How might they help prevent suicide?


The first things that come to mind for me are:

 

- talking openly and accurately about suicide with family and friends (if you want to get the facts on suicide and suicide prevention, there are a heap of amazing fact sheets here)

- knowing how to respond to someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts: there's some good tips here

- get familiar with warning signs for someone who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts - check out these

- be aware of the language you use around suicide - things like the phrase 'commit/committed suicide' can perpetuate that belief that suicide attempts or completions are a crime, or something to be ashamed of

- get involved with your local lifeline centre or other mental health organisation

Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths

Are there things that you can do in your everyday life that help support a community-wide suicide prevention movement? If so, what do you think those things are? How might they help prevent suicide?


I think awareness is so important in suicide prevention, as it helps reduce the stigma and misconception, and opens up doors for communication. One of the biggest reasons a person won't get help when feeling suicidal is because they're worried about what people would think of them, so by reducing the stigma and misconception, hopefully we can provide a community that's more supportive and open. So I think it's important to try to open up conversations, whether in every day life or online, so that more people can understand suicide and the reasons behind it. 

 

@worthless - I honestly believe a person makes their own worth. Just because at this point in time you FEEL as though you are worthless, does not mean that you are and does not mean you will always feel this way. YOU are the person who is in control of your own life, so if you want to be worth something, then you can make yourself worth something. You've already proven that you have enough strength to reach out for help here and by talking to your doctor. Also, if it's difficult to get to a psychologist, have you thought about Kids Help Line? They can offer a free phone, email, or web counselling service 

Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths

What do you think about campaigns/events like RUOK Day in making it more socially acceptable to talk about feelings and making mental illness more acceptable?

 

There's also Out of the Shadows walks that many Lifeline centres aroudn the country do - here's an example.

 

Our organisation - Suicide Prevention Australia - is working with a suicide awareness event called Roses in the Ocean which will also grow and is a great way to participate and learn.

 

And then of course there's doing ReachOut stuff!

 

Participating in things like this can be one way you can get involved and to help prevent suicide.

Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths

There's also some really useful training courses you can do so that you get some skills in asking someone if they are feeling suicidal and also getting them to appropriate help. 

 

Check out the LivingWorks courses - that's the 'brand' I guess of teh course but they are offered all aroudn the country and in many organisation. You can check out when training is being offered here or else email them.

 

There's also Mental Health First Aid which includes awareness of mental illness as well as some basic suicide intervention skills. You can search for courses here.  

 

There are lots of others too so if you are having a problem finding a course then you can get in touch with ReachOut or Suicide Prevention Australia and we will do our best to help you find a course!

Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths

@hopehappens thanks so much for educating all of us a little bit more tonight. I didn't even realise there were courses so readily available. Maybe as well as First Aid requirements in work places, they should initiate something like this as well.

It's time fore me to go to bed.  Ciao all.

Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and participating in the lively discussion tonight Smiley Happy

 

Summary

 

Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people, however it is not talked about enough in today’s society as it is a very challenging subject allowing it to be deeply shrouded in misconceptions and grow unchecked in society.

 

In the absence of widely spread information about suicide many misconceptions have arisen which are held to be true by many in society. One of the most widely believed myths is that suicide is a selfish act. This notion however is not representative of reality, in fact it is common for people who have died by suicide to do so for more selfless reasons, of which have been misconstrued in their head in a web of delusion (awesome description Sagira). Other prevalent misconceptions are that people who attempt suicide are only attention seekers, are taking the ‘easy’ way out, or are associated only with the mentally ill, among others  although common, are incorrect.     

 

One of the reasons why suicide is thought to be so taboo in society is that people are often concerned that in talking about it they may put ideas in people’s heads when they are vulnerable. This is not the case, as talking to someone about what troubles they may be going through will allow the person to relieve some of their stress. Along with this talking about the issue will also allow for them to feel connected with other people as there is someone else who cares and also it can lead to finding possible alternatives to alleviate them of their issues. One possible pathway is to inform them of professional help avaliable from servies such as Lifeline, Kids Help Line and Suicide Call back. An important step to take in talking to someone who may be vulnerable is to show that you genuinely care about them and what they are going through which can be achieved by active listening.

 

Another strong misconception within society is that it is only the mentally ill who may attempt suicide. Research has highlighted that there is a complex relationship between mental illness and suicide. Whereby suicide is more common for those experiencing a mental illness but it is most definitely not just exclusive to those who do. In fact many people may succumb to thoughts of suicide without having any prior mental illness which may be brought about by significant stresses and other life changes that may be at play.

 

 

People often link self-harm and suicide together, saying that self-harm is the precursor to suicide. This is not always the case as self-harm is used by some as a coping strategy to deal with building stresses and emotions. Suicide however is different in that it is usually associated with a feeling of isolation, being stuck with no solution or way out and the notion that the world is a better place without you.

 

In order to decrease the levels of suicide in youths we must first as a society, be more aware of the misconceptions such that we are able to more effectively help those who are vulnerable. In our communities there are many ways in which we can support suicide prevention such as being open to discussing suicide with family and friends, know how to respond in an appropriate manner, become familiar with the warning signs of those vulnerable and to be more sensitive in the manner in which we describe suicide. An excellent example by gail is the phrase 'commit/committed suicide' which can perpetuate that belief that suicide attempts or completions are a crime, or something to be ashamed of.

 

For more information on suicide and the myths surrounding it please visit Suicide Call Back Service. There are also great servies avaliable such as your local GP, psychologist,  Kids Help Line, Lifeline and Suicide Call back.

 

 

Re: INFOBUS: Suicide: overcoming the myths

You're welcome sagira! It's been great. Thanks for participating Smiley Happy