REACH OUT WITH A HELPING HAND
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.