Thursday 10 September marks World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK? Day. Two very important events to stop, acknowledge and reflect upon.
Every year, more than 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt and with figures from the ABS in 2017 more than 3,000 Australians died by suicide. Globally, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death for people of all ages. It accounts for more than 800,000 deaths which is one suicide every 40 seconds. These figures are astounding.
In our November 2019 GROW member survey 62% of members who attend our peer-to-peer mental health support groups indicated that they have experienced thoughts of suicide, with the rate jumping to 93% for Growers aged between 25-29.
The positive news is that after joining a Grow group, 85% of people have said that GROW has helped them overcome thoughts of suicide. Our Grow Groups (both online and face-to-face) provide the space for our members to share lived experiences and offer support and friendship to each other; we also provide our groups regular suicide prevention training
R U OK?’s vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide. The message is simple: Check in with your mates and ask the question – R U OK? Now more than ever we need meaningful connections with our family, friends and work mates. Start the conversation, trust your instincts and show that person you’re someone who cares enough to ask – it could be all they need to start talking.
The theme for R U OK? This year is “There’s more to say after R U OK?” Check out the website at www.ruok.org.au/ to access useful tools and advice, and to find out what more you can say to someone after R U OK? We can all make a difference. By raising awareness, educating ourselves and others, we can all work toward seeing a future where we have zero deaths by suicide.
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