15 Mar. 2012

Suicide prevention – everyday

Suicide has been an issue affecting young people and adults alike for a very long time.  No one really knows why a person will feel the need to take their life, but what we do know is that suicide leaves behind it a trail of destruction and forever changed lives.

Suicide is a growing issue in our region, but it’s not constrained to our region.  It’s a massive issue everywhere.

We recently posted some support information on our facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheYouthSpace) and had some great responses – we thank everyone for all the comments they’ve made and the additional information they’ve provided.

One poster, Jenny, provided the following numbers for people with suicidal ideation:

–  The Suicide Call Back Service:  1300 659 467.  This service provides ongoing telephone counselling with the same person.

Lifeline’s Standby Response Service:  0438 150 180 (Brisbane) and 0407 766 961 (Sunshine Coast).  This service provides counselling support to those people who are affected by the suicide of a friend or family member.

Jenny also went on to highlight a very important point – hearing about the suicide of a friend or family member can sometimes increase the risk of other young people attempting suicide.  This is why, whether we’ve known someone who has taken their life or not, we need to keep an eye out for each other.

In recent months there has been “Are You OK Day” and the “Soften the fuck up” initiative.  These were two fantastic public awareness campaigns that we all need to apply with everyone in our lives today, tomorrow and every day because no matter how well we know someone, we never really know if they’re actually really and truly okay.  We simply can’t know how the pressures they’re facing in life are affecting them, and we can rarely ever know the trigger that will cause someone to take the step from thinking about suicide to actually taking their life.

We encourage everyone to check in every day with the people they love, because sometimes just knowing someone cares and is consistently interested in their well being makes all the difference.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, or if you’re worried about someone, come talk to us or call the Suicide Call Back Service, or go see a mental health professional.  It’s not a sign of weakness.  Life can get hard and sometimes stuff just gets on top of us.  Kids are bullied at school, online, at home, at work and while out socialising.  SO ARE ADULTS.  When you add on all of the other pressures everyone faces regardless of age it can all overwhelm even the strongest person.  It’s not weak to ask for help and it doesn’t mean you’re crazy if you need help.  It means you’re brave because you’re taking your life in hand and trying to sort stuff out, and it means you’re amazingly self-aware because you know something is wrong and you’re choosing to do something about it.

If you need help, and don’t know where to start, try one of the helplines above or give us a call and we’ll help you to start the ball rolling.

Remember, suicide prevention starts today, it happens again tomorrow, and keeps happening every day of our lives because you, your family, your friends, ALL of us are precious and we’re all in this thing called life together.  YOU’RE NOT ALONE.  You might feel like you are, but we guarantee you that you’re not and we guarantee you that someone, somewhere cares about and believes in you.  That’s why youth services and community services exist, because sometimes we get isolated from family and friends and we really do feel isolated and alone.  But even then, we’re not because there are services all over Australia that are staffed by people who aren’t just paid to care – they really do care and they really will help you.

If you need to get in touch with us, call 07 3283 8769, e-mail us on info@redcliffeyouthspace.org or jump on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheYouthSpace.

Also, another poster on our facebook page, Danni, said that an upcoming issue of the BE VOCAL BE HEARD magazine will be dedicated to Youth Suicide and Mental Health.  Keep an eye out for it.

You can learn more about BE VOCAL BE HEARD at  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002424140072


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