REACH OUT WITH A HELP­ING HAND

Cockburn Gazette - - OPINION -

LAT­EST fig­ures show that for the first time, more than 3000 Aus­tralians died last year by sui­cide and the lat­est fig­ures show sui­cide is at a 10-year high.

Sadly, sui­cide rates have never been higher for men aged 15 to 44. Men are now tak­ing their lives at three times the rate of women.

We are urg­ing all readers to be aware that if you think some­body around you is hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, please reach out to them and ask if you can lend a hand. Look for signs that some­body might be in trou­ble. Lis­ten­ing al­ways helps. We are call­ing for more ed­u­ca­tion on sui­cide be­cause it is clear many men and women are strug­gling and aren’t al­ways sure of what to do next.

We are also call­ing on the com­mu­nity to help us wipe away the stigma around sui­cide.

Un­ques­tion­ably, some peo­ple still feel a sense of shame around this topic and this sim­ply needs to change.

If you know some­body who has a men­tal health is­sue, urge them to speak up and ask for help.

Any­one want­ing more in­for­ma­tion can ring the Men­tal Ill­ness Fel­low­ship of Western Aus­tralia (MIFWA) on 1800 985 944 or go to minet­works.org.au.

Let’s re­mem­ber, any sui­cide has a huge rip­ple ef­fect on so many peo­ple. It’s ex­actly why we need to do more in all lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to try to pre­vent tragedies oc­cur­ring.

MONIQUE WIL­LIAMSON, Chief ex­ec­u­tive, MIFWA.

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