World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September, 2021) is an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide and promote action to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts globally.

This year, the International Association for Suicide Prevention is encouraging understanding, reaching in, and sharing experiences, to give people the confidence to take action.

“To prevent suicide requires us to become a beacon of light to those in pain. You can be the light.”
– International Association for Suicide Prevention

Sadly in Australia, suicide is a leading cause of death and has significant impacts on individuals, families, workplaces, and our communities. On average 9 Australians take their lives each day. Over 10 million Australian adults are estimated to know someone who has died by suicide.

We can all take action in preventing suicide

This World Suicide Prevention Day OzHelp and its community have pledged to take action in preventing suicide.

We encourage you to reflect on the action you are willing to take in preventing suicide today and every day.

Practical ideas to help prevent suicide

  • Start a conversation: A conversation could change a life and chances are someone you know might be struggling. R U OK? are encouraging us to ask “Are they really OK? Ask them today.” as a part of their 2021 campaign. 
  • Mind your language: Using language that stigmatises, sensationalises, blames, or belittles people who are experiencing crises, mental ill-health or suicidal thoughts is harmful. Avoid labels and negative language. Together, our words and actions can reduce stigma. Visit Everymind for a summary of preferred language to use when communicating about suicide.
  • Normalise help seeking: Everyone has the right to safe and supportive care. Normalising conversations about suicide prevention and mental health is a start. We should also practice our own positive help seeking, and encourage others to link in with supports when they need it.
  • Prioritise wellbeing in the workplace: For many of us, our workplace is one of the places we spend the most amount of our time. Therefore, it is important that we look out for those who may be struggling and look to provide psychologically safe environments. This has become even more important in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic. For more information, read the National Mental Health Commission, Mentally Healthy Workplaces during COVID-19 guides.
  • Learn and be informed by lived experience: individuals who have experienced suicidal thoughts, survived a suicide attempt, cared for loved ones through crisis, or been bereaved through suicide, can provide powerful insights and opportunities to inform, influence, and enhance suicide prevention activities. Links to explore this topic include Lifeline’s Holding onto Hope Podcast – a personal lived experience shared openly and courageously in order to offer hope and inspiration to others and Roses in the Ocean – Australia’s leading lived experience of suicide organisation which exists to reduce emotional pain and distress and to save lives.

Need to talk to someone?

Reading about suicide can be distressing.

If you need to talk, you can catch an OzHelp support worker during business hours on 1300 694 357 (9am- 5pm, Mon – Fri, AEST) or email us here.

National crisis support lines are also available:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Lifeline Text: 0477 13 11 14,  6pm-midnight (AEDT), 7 nights a week

Suicide Call Back Services: 1300 659 467