Preventing Suicide

Preventing Suicide

– every year, approximately 3000 Australians die as a result of suicide & this rate has been stable over the past decade
– approximately 60% of suicides are unheralded
– more young Australians die as a result of suicide than in car accidents
– the rate of suicide for indigenous Australians is 2x that of the general population – believed to be trauma-related including trans-generational trauma
– autonomy and personal strengths are so important with suicide prevention
– zero suicide programs are in operation in the USA, UK, the Netherlands – a crisis care unit which is warm
– they operate on a ladder of severity of crisis/need of care
– they focus on what is strong in the person – what they want to achieve in life

So what is it that causes people to be suicidal? Where does the pain come from?
– Thomas Joiner’s model contends that there are two things going on:
1) they feel disengaged
2) they feel like a burden

Black Dog Institute notes a new approach to suicide prevention which:
– Involves multiple layers
– And these layers have to all interact simultaneously
– emergency, community & individual prevention programs for young people

Other points of note:
– Often people who are feeling suicidal do not wish to tell other people (Even though it is often a relief for them afterwards having done so)
– many people often see a GP prior to attempting suicide/self-harm, but do not tell the GP due to:
– shame;
– unworthiness; &
– self-hate.
– remember: talking about suicide is not harmful, nor is raising it with people
– GPs can use step care where people fill out suicide risk screens
– blogs are considered a useful way of knowing/judging whether a person may be feeling suicidal or becoming more suicidal as a result of what they are blogging
– Black Dog is look at voice recognition technology to see if that can discern suicidal-type speech & reviewing social media (blue sky/future interventions)
– “living with deadly oughts” – an online program by BDI to note and not engage with suicidal thoughts
– safety plans are also considered a good best-practice option to manage suicidality/crisis
– this includes means restriction where we put barriers in place to stop people taking their own life
– BDI is also studying data as to where people die (for e.g. At home or away from home – cliff, railway line, bridge & then using that information to set-up barriers as required in a particular local community – these are called “suicide audits”
– if worried about someone, it is recommended to raise it with the person – there is no harm done in doing this – even taking the person to see someone – if the person is willing – can be beneficial
– keep in touch with person / let the community agencies know that the person may be at risk
– suicide is complex – there is no one cause – we really need to create safety nets around people

Crisis numbers – Australia only
– CATT Team/Mental Health Triage (24 Hr service)
02 6205 1065 / 1800 629 354
– Lifeline 13 11 14
– Suicide callback service (24 hr service) 1300 659 467 (Free nationwide professional telephone or online counselling)
– Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 (Counselling and support for young people aged 5 to 25)
– Mental Health Self Help Resource – Headspace ACT: 6201 5343 (info & assistance for young people)
– Men’s line Australia 1300789978 (counselling and support services for men especially those involved in the breakdown of relationships). 1.

Source: ABC RN AITM | podcast date: 7 October 2018


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