A training program on how to best approach a conversation with someone who is having suicidal thoughts - and where to get help for them - was held in Mudgee this week.
The one-day course – by SFA Suicide First Aid – teaches; the signs that someone is considering suicide; the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviours; and what prevents people seeking help.
One of the key messages being that most people thinking of suicide don’t actually want their lives to end, they want their pain to stop.
The course was hosted by the Mudgee and Districts sub-branch of the Vietnam Veterans Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Association of Australia (VVPPAA). Although open to a variety of groups, businesses and organisations across the community.
President of the local VVPPAA sub-branch Ken Atkinson has done previous training in this area, but specific to veterans, which he said has helped him prevent a number of suicides.
However, he said the issue goes so much further in the wider community.
“It crosses everything, rich or poor it doesn’t matter, it’s the biggest cause of death between 15 and 49 in Australia – it’s double the road toll,” he said.
“And out in the country, particularly now there’s a drought biting hard, this is where it’s going to get worse.”
The course was brought to Mudgee via funding from Family First Credit Union as part of their mental health initiative.
Chief executive officer, Darryl Macauley, did the course and said, “it’s an eye-opener for us, we’re in banking but we’re not immune to the issue either. It’s huge and everybody has got to own it.”
If you or someone you know needs crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14, MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78, or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.