With World Suicide Prevention Day falling on the same day as R U OK? Day in Australia today, Queenslanders should know that support is out there in their time of need.
State Member for Moggill, Dr Christian Rowan MP, said World Suicide Prevention Day was designed to raise awareness about the seriousness of mental health issues and remind everyone that they can play a part in helping to support people who were finding it difficult to cope.
“This year’s RU OK? Day campaign is Thanks for Asking, letting our community know that a simple question could mean so much to someone struggling,” Dr Rowan said.
“Across Australia, we lose someone to suicide every four hours. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if together we could see that this does not happen today, or any day?”
Dr Rowan said effective suicide prevention for children and young people involved a range of actions including those aimed at building individual and community resilience, promoting early detection and intervention, and targeting groups at higher risk of suicide.
“We must work hard to look at ways of building resilience in our community and ensure the support that people need is there,” he said.
“This is about reducing the stigma around talking about suicide prevention. We need to ensure that support and services are available to all those touched by suicide.”
Dr Rowan said the Queensland Government could support the tremendous work done by organisations such as Lifeline, Beyond Blue and RU OK? by establishing a number of Suicide Prevention Ambassadors.
“Ambassadors are volunteers, often with a high media profile, who can use that profile to draw attention to the work of a non-profit organisation or strategy,” he said.
“It makes sense to look at incorporating suicide prevention ambassadors in our approach to reduce the incidence of suicide, given the success of ambassadors in similar social health education campaigns.”
Anyone who needs support should call Lifeline on 13 11 44 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.