World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK Day being held today, provides an opportunity for Gold Coast residents to simply ask the question of their family and friends, ‘Are you OK?’
Partners in Recovery consortia member, Gold Coast Primary Health Network, is encouraging local residents to start a conversation with friends, family and colleagues about their mental health and wellbeing.
CEO Matt Carrodus, said conversations that are geared towards helping people feel loved, supported and connected do make a difference.
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“This day provides an opportunity to remind people that they can help someone who may be struggling, just by asking them how they are feeling,” Mr Carrodus said.
“When family and friends show tolerance and understanding, it can make it easier for people to speak up and access help if needed and access that help early.
“On average, seven Australians die every day through suicide, and one in two Australians experience a mental health issue at some stage of their life, so it’s time we shook off the stigma and normalised it and started the conversation. That’s why we are also inviting local residents to make a pledge to say no to stigma at www.mymindgc.com,” Mr Carrodus said.
Local resident, Janelle Reeves, says the support of family and friends is vital.
“I remember the times when I contemplated suicide and those when I attempted suicide, and the primary difference between these times was having support,” Janelle said.
“Offering support to someone who is contemplating suicide does not mean that you have to entertain them or cheer them up,” she said. “Support can just be sitting in the same room as someone not making judgements, allowing them to speak when they are ready and understanding that the feelings that they are feeling, whilst they may seem irrational to those around them, are real for the person who is in such an awful, lonely and desperate place in their lives.”
“You don’t have to have the answers to their problems you just have to listen.”
There are a number of services on the Gold Coast for people needing support. These include visiting your local GP or contacting:
The Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467 (free, nation-wide telephone support service for those displaying suicidal behaviour, carers of those at risk and those bereaved by suicide)
Lifeline 13 11 14 (telephone counselling available nationwide for the cost of a local call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
A free community seminar, World Suicide Prevention Day – what can we do? is being held at the Nerang Bicentennial Community Centre between 11am – 4pm today. For details visit: www.healthygc.com.au/Events.aspx