National suicide stigma report card: strong improvement, but a long way to go
A national survey undertaken for World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) has revealed mixed results when it comes to suicide stigma in Australia.
Lifeline Australia’s Chairman John Brogden said the survey shows that while there is a growing understanding of suicide, the country has ‘a long way to go’.
"The suicide stigma survey results show that decades of hard work in changing community perceptions around suicide are making a difference,” Mr Brodgen said.
“Two thirds of people have a good knowledge of suicide and education has been proven to be effective in changing people’s stigma-based views for the better. Lifeline Centres have been working hard in this area for more than 20 years, delivering various community-based training and education programs across the country.
“However, with one in three survey respondents still believing suicide to be 'irresponsible', 'cowardly' and 'stupid', we need to redouble our efforts to make it OK for people to talk about their struggles and reach out for help.
“This means increasing our efforts to spread awareness and education, be it in schools, workplaces or sporting clubs.”
Other key survey findings of the survey conducted by Colmar Brunton for the suicide prevention sector include:
Mr Brogden also said the survey results give added importance to the WSPD 2017 theme of ‘take a minute, change a life’.
“It just takes a minute to check in with a friend or loved one, to listen to them and let them know you are there for them. It takes a minute, but it might just save a life,” Mr Brogden said.
"If you're concerned someone you know is thinking about suicide, it's important to ask the question: 'are you thinking about suicide?'. By asking directly and unambiguously, it shows you care and are willing to talk about it.”