World Mental Health Day
10th October 2018
Today is World Mental Health Day. It is a global day for mental health education, awareness and advocacy and it could not have come at a more crucial time. The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released new statistics, indicating that in 2017, 3,128 people died by suicide. This alarming number is an increase in numbers of 9.1% over the past 12 months. The reasons why people choose to take their lives is complicated. However, this finding can act as a reminder of the importance of coming together to help increase the awareness and work together to reduce the stigma and more importantly, this number of deaths. So what can we do about this?
There is no one body of work that has the correct answer. However, we know that openly speaking up in an empathetic environment, as well as early intervention and seeking help can make a difference. It is important that we are there for our friends, family and colleagues, as starting a conversation with them can inspire them to open up. It signals to the person that they are thought of and supported, that someone cares. It is not expected of you to have all of the ‘answers’ or to say and do all of the right things. But rather, just being there, listening without judgement and showing that you care is so valuable and beneficial. Extending on that, helping them to link in with their GP, a mental health professional or their EAP service may also be a helpful step forward.
The #YouCanTalk campaign website, a collaboration between beyondblue, headspace, ReachOut.Com, Lifeline, Black Dog Institute, Everymind, R U OK? and Life in Mind, provides resources, which can assist you in asking openly if someone is thinking of suicide and tips for how to talk about it safely.