Po­lit­i­cal News

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - Front Page -

Ev­ery one of us can share a story about sui­cide – most of us know of a fam­ily mem­ber, school buddy or friend who has trag­i­cally taken their own life, or at­tempted to. Of­ten, the signs are sub­tle and we won­der if we could have no­ticed that some­thing was not quite right ear­lier.

Re­cently I at­tended an in­ten­sive Sui­cide Talk pro­gram, hosted by Ju­lian Lesser, Mem­ber for Berowra, and learned that Aus­tralia's sui­cide rate is alarm­ingly high. In 2015, 3027 people ended their own lives – or more than eight people each day.

The Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Statis­tics re­ported that sui­cide was the lead­ing cause of death among people 15-44 years of age, and the se­cond lead­ing cause of death among those aged 45-54. Ac­cord­ing to Life­line, more than 60 per cent of Aus­tralians feel lonely.

I be­lieve we can all help in the pre­ven­tion of sui­cide and as a com­mu­nity, I am en­cour­aged that we are learn­ing more about how we can act to urge people to seek help.

We all have a role to play in tak­ing people se­ri­ously when they ex­pe­ri­ence sui­ci­dal thoughts. We must change the way we view this be­hav­iour. Let’s see people as gen­uinely ‘at­ten­tion need­ing’ rather than ‘at­ten­tion seek­ing’. Let’s en­sure we give people the at­ten­tion they need.

In the work­shop we dis­cussed the con­cept of ‘ TALK’, which means – TELL some­one you trust, ASK about symp­toms of sui­cide, LIS­TEN for links be­tween men­tal well­be­ing and sui­cide and KEEP SAFE un­til fur­ther sup­port is avail­able.

I was in­cred­i­bly moved by the sto­ries I heard and I’m grate­ful for the tools I have been pro­vided. Sui­cide has far-reach­ing ef­fects on ev­ery­one who has been touched by it, and there is so much more we can do to en­sure we sup­port a sui­cide-safer com­mu­nity in the Hills.

If you or some­one you know needs help, call Life­line on 13 11 14. Young people can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Headspace on 1800 650 890. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about de­pres­sion con­tact beyond­Blue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP or health pro­fes­sional.

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