Did you know that suicide increased by nine per cent in 2017*? With one in five Australians experiencing symptoms of mental illness each year with statistics unfortunately on the rise. Most of us would have either dealt with mental illness first hand or know of someone whose life has been touched by mental illness. It is horrible to think that three out of four Australian’s who take their own lives are men and that the leading cause of death among people between ages 15–44 is suicide. We all need to do our part in addressing this issue.
It can be hard and confusing to understand just why people have suicidal thoughts. Most people don’t want to leave this earth, they just want their pain to stop and don’t have the tools or right state of mind to come out of a dark place. Thoughts and feelings of ending one’s life can be overwhelming and very frightening. It can be very difficult to know what to do and how to cope, but help is available.
Supporting someone at risk of suicide is not an easy task. That’s why we’ve created the SALT strategy, integral part of the Wesley LifeForce suicide intervention training program–a simple acronym to remember when speaking to a friend, family member or neighbour about their mental health.
See the warning signs and identify if they’re struggling.
Ask if they’re considering taking their own life. Allowing and giving someone permission to talk, lets help them open up in the way they want.
Listen to what they’re going through. By actively listening, you are allowing a person to speak their truth, helping them to form a clearer picture.
Take this person to receive outside support by speaking with a trained professional.
SALT can help identify someone at risk while offering solutions to assist that person on their road to recovery. Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. Choices we make today can help prevent suicide tomorrow.
*All statistics have been compiled by Wesley Mission