The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide (CBPATSISP) has joined forces with other leading mental health and suicide prevention organisations to encourage the general public to talk openly about suicide with their friends and family in a bid to save more lives.
Beyondblue, Black Dog Institute, Everymind, headspace, Lifeline, ReachOut, R U OK and CBPATSISP are launching a video for the #YouCanTalk campaign which began in July 2018.
Leilani Darwin, #YouCanTalk Ambassador and Head of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre at the Black Dog Institute features in the video along with Black Dog Institute Ambassador, Michelle Bridges and other well known figures.
“They helped me feel safe, encouraged me to talk to my Elders and to seek professional help” says Leilani in an excerpt from the video.
Professor Pat Dudgeon, Project Director of CBPATSISP, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia strongly supports the initiative and welcomes the collaboration from the other organisations in reducing the high suicide rate in Indigenous communities.
Professor Dudgeon notes:
“It’s important if we see that one of our friends or family members is not their usual self or not travelling well, the best thing you can do is have a yarn with them and get the conversation started. You can encourage them to talk and seek help. Everyone can make a difference”.
The #YouCanTalk campaign aims to provide Indigenous Australians with the resources, training, support and confidence they need to help prevent suicide and in turn reduce suicide rates. In 2018 the Indigenous suicide death rate in Australia is over double the non-Indigenous population: the male rate being 2.1 times as high; and the female 2.3 times as high as their counterparts.
#YouCanTalk is a direct response to a landmark survey of 3000 people in Australia that found many people want to do more to prevent suicide in their communities, but don’t know how to go about it. This includes half of all respondents believing only mental health professionals can help prevent suicide, while 40 per cent worried talking about suicide may make things worse.
The campaign aims to mobilise the community and empower family and friends to act as ‘eyes and ears’ to ensure their loved ones can get support before reaching crisis point.
This includes recognising the signs that someone may be thinking of suicide, how to talk about it openly and honestly, and what to do if someone says they are not coping and need support.
To find out how to safely talk about suicide, support the campaign or access support services follow #YouCanTalk on social media or go to www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/youcantalk or visit the CBPATSISP website.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, you can contact your local Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisation or
- Lifeline: 131 114
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- Mensline: 1300 78 99 78
- Beyondblue 1300 22 46 36
- Q Life 1800 18 45 27,
- Open Arms Veterans & Families Counselling 1800 01 10 46
- The National Indigenous Critical Response Service 1800 80 58 01