As I have been involved in suicide prevention work recently I thought it would be good to share some information about these services with you.
Suicidal thoughts and feelings can be part of a depression but could also result from experiencing trauma or other negative life events. This isn't always the case though. There could be an accumulation of negative life events that can eventually tip someone over the edge of not experiencing the pleasure or sense of living anymore.
Research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics informs us that there are a few specific populations at high risk of developing suicidal thoughts and behaviour. These groups are identified as: men, Indigenous populations, young people and individuals who have been bereaved by suicide. When we take a closer look at the statistics of suicide, it shows us that in 2012 suicide ranked the 14th cause of death in the general Australian population. 75% of these were male. We see comparable high prevalence numbers in Indigenous populations and young people. This is the main reason why the Australian Government has set up funded services for all people confronted with suicidal thoughts or behaviour. See below a list of services available for people who struggle with suicidal thoughts.
Due to individual, social or contextual reasons not all people in need of help reach out to find professional support. One of the barriers to receive appropriate support is the stigma that surrounds suicide and suicidal behaviours. People might fear being labelled as mentally unstable or fear hospitalisation when expressing their suicidal thoughts. But the simple fact is that a lot of people in need are not familiar with the available services.
A strong push is required to promote these services to the general public and to inform what kind of services are available. The level of support goes far beyond hospitalization and are often even aimed at preventing this. People are usually better off by coping with these thoughts and feeling in their own natural environment with their own social support network on their side. Strategies to cope with stress in an effective way, challenging your negative thoughts, developing relaxation skills, connecting to your friends or social support network, finding treatment for depressive symptoms or connecting to a community support group are some of the interventions offered by these services.
“John has received help through the ATAPS suicide prevention services and feels much better after a few consultations and follow ups. He has learned to communicate with his wife when he feels really down and has developed better coping skills to deal with the work stress, such as asking for help, talking about his challenges and taking time off when he feels too pressured. He can look at the bright side of life again and is appreciative he is still around to enjoy his family and farm. “
When you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and you perceive yourself at risk of harming yourself, these are the available services to contact:
· ACIS (Assessment and Crisis Intervention Services): 24/7 availability. Call 131465 to talk to one of the experienced counsellors to guide you to the best service available for you.
· LifeLine: crisis intervention, call 13 11 14
· ATAPS suicide prevention service SA: available through Mind Australia. This is a service for people at low or moderate risk of suicide. Your GP can refer you to this service by calling 1300 286 463. They also provide after hours phone support when you are connected to these services.
When you would like to receive professional support to overcome negative events or thoughts and you are not at risk of harming yourself, at Sex Therapy & Psychology we can help.
Contact us today to make that first step towards a more happy and fulfilling life.