Lifeline's message this World Suicide Prevention Day
On World Suicide Prevention Day 2016 Lifeline Australia is promoting the importance of connection, compassion and care in helping Australians bounce back from crisis.
With recent ABS data showing that suicide numbers have reached a 10-year-plus high, Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel said World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to reflect.
“Devastating is the only way to describe the increase in deaths by suicide in Australia,” Mr Shmigel said. “We cannot forget that behind these numbers are tragic stories of trauma and heartache for mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends, colleagues and whole communities.
“It’s clear that we as an organisation, a health sector and community need to do more and better.
“Love the one you're with and ask them if he or she is thinking about suicide. That simple and kind question can save life.”
Lifeline’s Out of the Shadows national suicide prevention walks, held each year to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, are an opportunity to remember those lost to suicide and unite in a commitment to prevent further deaths by suicide.
Mr Shmigel said we also need to commit to being part of a more hopeful and connected future. The national charity will receive more than a million requests for help in 2016 and Lifeline’s 3500 Crisis Supporter volunteers know better than most the power of connection.
“For more than 50 years Lifeline has been supporting suicidal people by taking the time to talk, listen and hear what they are going through,” Mr Shmigel said.
“Our recent Volunteer of the Year recipient, Dean Berry, is a shining example of this and we know that our Crisis Supporters make a difference to the lives of Australians in need.”
Mr Berry’s story is profiled in Lifeline’s World Suicide Prevention Day campaign alongside the story of Dennis – a former caller to Lifeline who now gives back by volunteering on the phones. Dennis’ story highlights that a simple conversation can truly help someone bounce back from their darkest point.
Mr Shmigel said that Lifeline will continue to tackle the national suicide emergency, including through the planned introduction of Australia’s first text-based crisis support service, but that the community has an important role to play.
“I want to encourage Australians, strongly and genuinely, to do what Lifeline has been doing throughout its history: making it so people don’t have to suffer in silence. Good old-fashioned care and compassion can go a long way. It can save a life,” Mr Shmigel said.
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit: www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.
Find out more about Lifeline’s WSPD campaign at: www.lifeline.org.au/bounceback.
Find out more about Lifeline’s Out of the Shadows walks at: www.outoftheshadows.org.au