Tuesday 10 September 2019 is World Suicide Prevention Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about suicide, encourage conversations, and collectively shine a light on suicide prevention.
Suicide is a prominent community concern in Australia with the ABS reporting 3,128 deaths by suicide in 2017. It is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, and men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women.
Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. We can all make a difference in the lives of those who might be struggling by having regular, meaningful conversations about life's ups and downs. People don't need to be a clinician, GP, or nurse to check-in with someone they are worried about – just a good friend and a great listener.
In Melbourne's eastern and north-eastern suburbs, a new service called LifeConnect is providing a range of suicide prevention activities as well as support for those who have been bereaved by suicide. Suicide prevention activities include wellbeing workshops to help participants develop strategies to improve wellbeing, resilience, and capacity to self-manage, as well as community and workforce capacity building to assist health professionals and members of the community to recognise and appropriately respond to risk of suicide.
Bereavement services provide individual counselling and group support to families and others who have been bereaved by suicide.
The LifeConnect team is available to come to workplaces, clubs or community groups to deliver workshops on a range of topics including wellbeing, stress management and suicide prevention. Find out more at: www.neaminational.org.au/LifeConnect.
LifeConnect is a Neami National service funded by the Victorian Government and Australian Government through the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN).
• Learn how to identify the signs that someone may be struggling on R U OK's website.
• For pointers on how to start safe conversations around suicide check the #YouCanTalk campaign.
• Help to report about suicide safely is available on the Mindframe website.
Where to seek support
People who live, work or study in the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) catchment can access LifeConnect services. Visit LifeConnect for more information.
LifeConnect is not a crisis service.
People requiring immediate help should call:
• Lifeline: 13 11 14
• Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
• Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
• MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78