What Suicide Prevention Should Look Like

A recently unsettled realisation we’ve come across is the overwhelming fact that suicide, however taboo, is a complex situation.

For many, self harm & suicide are a way to take away the pain they’re feeling- whether that’s a teen struggling with friendships, family and navigating growing up, or an adult family man who finds it hard to cope with daily life & doesn’t want to burden family or friends- it affects everyone. Even people who have stable connections to family & friends still self harm or attempt suicide because the pain they are feeling is far too great.

Being in the field of mental health, psychology, and science there is a great emphasis on crisis intervention, support, and hotlines. Which is amazing & we thank everyone who is a part of them because it does help people off the ledge.

Yet, successful suicides sky rocket once people are out of crisis intervention and support and move on to crisis management and back to their daily lives. Most often what is causing these self-harming & risky behaviours or attempted suicides is something in their daily life. It could be things that a lot of us take for granted, like stable income, secure housing, & being able to put food on the table.

So, what we’re proposing is that suicide prevention also seek to include:

  • Food security,
  • Affordable housing,
  • Affordable health care,
  • Destigmatising mental health and illnesses,
  • Community engagement programs,
  • Increasing accessibility to mental health care and services,
  • Parenting skills and family relationship programs,
  • Acceptance of individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+, especially in families.
  • Job security,
  • Superannuation security,
  • Proper pay rates,
  • Increasing the need for mental health days if necessary,
  • Psychologists in schools and the workplace,
  • Encouraging safe spaces for individuals identifying as female or non binary in the workplace,
  • A bigger emphasis on mental health in schools, both primary and secondary.

Self harm and suicide don’t happen for no reason & it is up to all of us to break the stigma & start caring for each other. It starts by challenging government bodies for what we need and what we deserve. We have to be the change we seek, if not for us but the next generations.

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