R U OK? & World Suicide Prevention Day














September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day for promoting awareness of suicide and mental health concerns across the globe. The 2015 international theme for WSPD is Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives with a focus on reducing stigma around talking about suicide prevention and standing up to make a positive impact.

“Somewhere in the world, one person takes their life every 40 seconds,” writes Lifelife WA CEO Fiona Kalaf, “In Australia, an estimated seven people will take their life today and every other day of the year: around 2,500 deaths by suicide each year.”

“Consistently, there is one thing that makes a difference: seeking help. Yet, this is so much more difficult than it seems,” Kalaf says. Lifeline WA identify three main barriers that prevent people from seeking help; knowledge, accessibility and stigma.

This year, World Suicide Prevention Day coincides with R U OK? Day led by an Australian suicide prevention organisation of the same name. Held on the second Thursday in September, R U OK Day aims to break down those barriers of knowledge and stigma by promoting open and friendly discussion on mental health starting with a simple question, “Are you OK?”

“To ensure that people are protected from suicidal thoughts, we need to make a concerted and genuine effort to be there for one another and really walk in one another’s shoes,” R U OK Campaign Director Rebecca Lewis says, “R U OK? Day is a national reminder for us all to start a conversation that could change a life.”

R U OK are encouraging Australians to ask their peers “R U OK?” today in schools, workplaces and communities.

“R U OK? Is using its seventh national day of action to urge people to say thanks to anyone who’s been there for them during a rough patch or a tough day. R U OK? Day can be the day to start a conversation, as well as celebrate the people who already do that on a regular basis.”

“We want as many people as possible to head to ruok.org.au and write a special note of thanks to show the world the power of a conversation,” Ms Lewis says.

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available;

Lifeline: 13 11 14

beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / beyondblue.org.au

QLife: 1800 184 527 (Free) / qlife.org.au 
(QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTI people)

Leigh Hill


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