The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. In Australia more than 2500 people die each year with latest figures (2015) telling us that 3,027 Australians took their own life. Recent research tells us that hundreds of Australians are impacted by each suicide death. Research also tells us that some 65,000 people attempt suicide each year and hundreds of thousands of people think of suicide. Take a minute to think about the pain and suffering suicide being felt by every single person impacted by suicide.
This World Suicide Prevention Day we’d like to take a minute to change lives with as many suicide prevention awareness raising events as possible being held in Australia on or around World Suicide Prevention Day. Check out the Events page to see what’s happened near you.
‘Take a Minute, Change a Life’ is the theme of the 2017 World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September). Survey findings released on World Suicide Prevention Day indicate that Australians have mixed attitudes and behaviours towards people who die by suicide and an inaccurate understanding about suicide and its prevention. View the media release.
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO Sue Murray said of the findings: “Evidence tells us that stigmatising attitudes result in people being less likely to get help or give help. If we don’t speak up about persistent stigma, we are at risk of perpetuating a society where we remain reluctant to reach out for help for ourselves or others.”
This year’s WSPD theme ‘Take a minute, change a life’ highlights the importance of speaking up, taking the time, and listening.
“It is reassuring to learn through this survey that more than 70% of Australians think that people who are suicidal should tell others about it. It shows we are willing to help others. We are willing to listen.”
“I am also encouraged by the finding that increased knowledge about suicidal behaviours and how to manage them seems to correlate with a lower level of stigma. This tells me that as well as reflecting on our personal attitudes and behaviours, we must continue efforts to improve every Australian’s understanding of suicide and its prevention.”
This year’s WSPD theme also complements the efforts of our friends on R U OK? Day (14 September) who support taking time to notice what’s going on with your family, friends and colleagues – and yourself. It is about taking time to have have those conversation when you notice something has changed and equipping yourself to help yourself and others.