Suicide Awareness and Prevention

22 October 2020, 2:18PM

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Saturday,?10 October was World Mental Health Day. A designated day to create awareness and facilitate conversations about mental health challenges.???

We know that approximately 50% of Australians will experience a Mental Health condition at some stage during their lifetime. This means,?even if you?诲辞苍’迟?have firsthand experience,?you will undoubtedly know someone who has. We also know that with the right conversations, support and treatment,?most mental health conditions can be managed.?

However, for some that?颈蝉苍’迟?the case. Ongoing difficulties with mental health can lead to increased feelings of hopelessness and suicidality. With suicide being one of the most severe outcomes of a longstanding mental health condition. Approximately 3 Tasmanians will lose their life to suicide each year. This is 3 too many and it takes society to change these statistics.??

We are all the sum of different lives and there are so many different experiences,?challenges?and reasons as to why some people may get to the point of?suicide.?Twenty-five-year-old, Jazz Thornton has firsthand experience of this and with support from professionals,?friends?and mentors she managed to start fighting and find hope. Subsequently, Jazz founded the NZ charity,?‘,?and?has written a book and a?,?all aimed at creating awareness and understanding of suicide.??

Jazz also wrote the?award-winning?documentary and mini-series,?. This series is about helping people understand what it means to be suicidal and what they can do to help. It does this by examining the life of Jazz’s friend,?Jess, which sadly ended in 2015. While confronting, Jessica’s Tree is an accurate and powerful depiction of what it means to be suicidal and a very necessary documentary.??

Jessica’s Tree can be viewed for free online?and is something I would encourage everyone to not just watch with someone, but to then?have a discussion about. Watching this documentary may be a particularly powerful avenue to open up this line of communication for parents and adolescents.?In addition, the process of creating Jessica’s Tree, has gone on?to form the basis of another recent?documentary, ‘Girl on the Bridge’, which is equally as powerful.?

Jessica’s Tree highlights that suicide really is everyone’s responsibility. While you are not responsible for saving someone, you are responsible for trying to understand. Because one of the?biggest fears of those who are suicidal, is that when they finally get the courage to?open up?and reach out, they?飞辞苍’迟?be heard, helped or understood.?

If you are worried about someone:?

  1. Spend time with them?
  2. Show that you care and are there to help?
  3. Ask direct questions about their feelings and thoughts of suicide e.g.,

“Are you feeling so bad that you’ve thought about ending your life?”?

“Are you having thoughts about suicide?”?

? ? ? 4. Share your concerns with someone else ?

? ? ? 5. Seek more immediate and professional support (you 诲辞苍’迟?have to and cannot handle it alone)?

??Where to seek more support:?

  • If there is an immediate risk to safety,?call 000 or attend A&E?
  • Speak to your GP about a Mental Health Care Plan for Private Therapy?
  • Access the School Counselling Service??
  • Seek support through local community agencies, such as CAMHS, Catholic Care, Cornerstone and Headspace?
  • Phone a Mental Health Advocacy Hotline or webchat
    • Lifeline (Crisis) 13 11 14?
    • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467?
    • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636?
    • Kids?Helpline?1800 551 800?
    • Mensline?1300 789 978?
    • Headspace 1800 650 890?

Ms?Nicole Young?

College Psychologist?