National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

For immediate release: April 17, 2018

New Recommended Standard Care for People with Suicide Risk Aims to Fundamentally Improve Suicide Care Delivered Nationwide

Action Alliance releases evidence-based guidance aimed at making health care safe for people with suicide risk.

WASHINGTON, DC—First-ever recommendations to improve standard health care for people with suicide risk was released today by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), the nation’s public-private partnership for suicide prevention. While health care organizations nationwide already follow guidelines or standards to address other urgent medical conditions – such as heart attack, stroke, and serious injury from an accident – up until now, guidance on standard suicide care did not exist.

Since the majority (64 percent) of people who attempt suicide visit a doctor in the month before their attempt, it is essential that people who are at risk for suicide receive timely access to treatments and other fundamental health care services that are known to be effective in reducing suicide risk.

“Health care organizations deliver health care services to reduce risk of other urgent medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes, however, they are not treating suicide with the same sense of responsibility or urgency” said Dr. Michael Hogan, former New York state commissioner for mental health and principal, Hogan Health Solutions. “We have a moral imperative to use what we know works in health care to prevent suicide,” added Dr. Hogan. “Just as statins are used in the prevention of heart disease, we have access to an array of feasible, evidence-based practices that should be part of standard care that is provided to those with suicide risk. Doing anything less is unacceptable.”

The new recommendations present feasible, practical, evidence-based actions for primary care, behavioral health, and emergency department settings that health care organizations can adopt immediately. These include:

  • Screening patients to identify who is at risk;

  • Assessing patients’ level of suicide risk;

  • Working with patients to create safety plans that include how they will reduce their access to lethal means, such as firearms or poisons; and

  • Completing caring contacts – following up with patients by phone, email, or text within 48 hours of their health care

These recommendations are for health care organizations and providers looking to ensure the services they deliver to patients at risk for suicide are informed by the most relevant and robust suicide prevention research available. Transforming health systems to significantly reduce suicide in the U.S. is a key priority of the Action Alliance. The report is just one Action Alliance- developed tool aimed at better equipping health systems in the U.S. and further advance the goals and objectives outlined in the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) – a joint effort by the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the Action Alliance.

“The Action Alliance is committed to ‘promoting suicide prevention as a core component of health care services’ a goal of the NSSP,” said Mr. Robert Turner, Private Sector Chair of the Action Alliance and former Senior Vice President at Union Pacific Corporation. “To advance this goal, we need to work with public and private partners, especially health systems, whom I hope will adopt these recommendations, to reach those who are at risk and reduce the suicide rate 20 percent by 2025.”

FOR MEDIA PARTNERS:

Research shows that the media may influence suicide rates by the way they report on suicide. Evidence suggests that when the media tell stories of people positively coping in suicidal moments, more suicides can be prevented. We urge all members of the media working on these stories to refer to the Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide for best practices for safely and accurately reporting on suicide. For stories of persons with lived experience of suicidality and finding hope, refer to www.lifelineforattemptsurvivors.org.

NATIONAL ACTION ALLIANCE FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION:

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is the public-private partnership working to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and make suicide prevention a national priority. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides funding to EDC to operate and manage the Secretariat for the Action Alliance, which was launched in 2010. Learn more at actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following the Action Alliance on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

For help in Australia

CAPS – Talk Suicide Support Service – Free telephone and face to face support      1800 008 255

Salvation Army Care Line     1300 36 36 22

Reach Out     http://au.reachout.com/tough-times

Headspace     Register and chat now at eheadspace, or call 1800 650 890  Headspace

Lifeline    13 11 14

Mensline Australia 1300 78 99 78 (24 hour phone counselling and referral)

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Mates in Construction: 1300 642 111

QLife        1800 184 527    Phone & Chat  3.00 – 12.00 pm everyday

SANE Australia help

SANE Australia Helpline  –  Talk to a mental health professional (weekdays, 10am-10pm AEST) 1800 18 72 63

Helpline chat – Chat online with a mental health professional (weekdays 10am-10pm AEST)

Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (24 hour phone counselling)

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (Professional call back service referral line operates seven days a week)

Veterans Line 1800 011 046 (after hours professional telephone crisis counselling for veterans and their families

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Moustafa Kemal “Ataturk”

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours … You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our son’s as well.

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Photo by Andris Melngalvis – Rigas rajons, Garciems, Latvia

 

STANDBY – Support after Suicide

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About Us

StandBy – Support after Suicide is a program of United Synergies, established in 2002 to meet the need for a coordinated community response to suicide. StandBy is now recognised as Australia’s leading suicide postvention program dedicated to assisting people and communities impacted by suicide.

In Australia, more than 2,800 people take their own life each year. Research indicates that for every death through suicide 135 people are impacted and ten or more are significantly affected. StandBy provides free telephone or face-to-face support by local caring staff, committed to the wellbeing of the person or group affected. The program provides a central point of coordination, connecting people to the various supports they may need through referrals to services, groups and organisations within their local area.

StandBy operates nationally by partnering with local organisations, engaging their expertise within the community to deliver the most effective and culturally suitable support for each individual circumstance. Locally tailored community workshops and education programs are provided to increase awareness of suicide and suicide bereavement to help enable communities to support one another.

For more information please contact our StandBy Office

What we do

  • We provide free face-to-face and telephone support at a time and place that is best for you
  • The service is accessible 24/7, providing direct and coordinated support from local services and groups in your area
  • We offer expertise, understanding and resources for your particular situation
  • Follow up contact is continued for up to 1 year to ensure you are not alone and receive any ongoing support you may need

Find Support

StandBy provides support services all around Australia. You will need to visit their website for contact details for each individual service.

  • ACT
  • Brisbane North & South
  • Central QLD, Wide Bay & Sunshine Coast
  • Country SA
  • Kimberley
  • Murray
  • Pilbara
  • North Coast NSW
  • Northern Queensland
  • Northern Territory
  • North West Central QLD
  • Tasmania

Who we support

We support anyone who has been impacted by suicide at any stage in their life, including:

  • Individuals, families and friends
  • Witnesses
  • Schools, workplaces and community groups
  • First responders and service providers

If you are currently having suicidal thoughts, please seek immediate assistance by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14.  If you or someone you are with is in need of immediate support please call an ambulance or Police on 000.

View our Resource Library for:

  • Helpful information sheets
  • Brochures in other languages
  • Useful books and websites
  • Ideas for support
  • Ideas for self care
  • Links for Professionals
  • Other services for support nationally

For National StandBy office administrative enquiries, contact is available during Qld business hours. 
Please note this is not a crisis or support office.

M: 0429 147 491
E: standbynational@unitedsynergies.com.au
Mail: StandBy Support After Suicide – PO Box 365, Tewantin, QLD 4565

Standby Website

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools, Second Edition Date: 2018

Suicide Prevention Resource Center sprc logo

After a Suicide Toolkit for Schools

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After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools assists schools in implementing a coordinated response to the suicide death of a student. Originally developed in 2011, the second edition includes new information and tools that middle and high schools can use to help the school community cope and reduce suicide risk. The toolkit was developed in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and in consultation with national experts, including school-based administrators and staff, clinicians, researchers, and crisis response professionals. It is designed primarily for administrators and staff but can also be useful for parents and communities.

Highlights of the second edition include:

  • Updated information on such topics as memorialization, social media, and contagion
  • Updated resource lists
  • A new tool to help with decision-making about memorials
  • New examples of how different communities have addressed specific issues in responding to a suicide death

Table of Contents

Introduction
Brief Descriptions of the Toolkit Sections
Crisis Response
Mobilize a Crisis Response Team
Get the Facts
Share the News with the School Community
Address Cultural Diversity
Activities for Responding to a Crisis
Tools for Crisis Response
Helping Students Cope
Key Considerations
Schedule Meetings with Students in Small Groups
Help Students Identify and Express Their Emotions
Practical Coping Strategies
Reach Out to Parents
Anniversary of the Death
Working with the Community
Key Considerations
Coroner/Medical Examiner
Police Department
Local Government
Funeral Director
Faith Community Leaders
Mental Health and Health Care
Outside Postvention Specialists
Building a Community Coalition
Working with the Media
Tools for Working with the Media
Memorialization
Key Considerations
Funerals and Memorial Services
Spontaneous Memorials
Online Memorial Pages
School Newspapers
Events
Yearbooks
Graduation
Permanent Memorials and Scholarships
Creative Suggestions
Tool for Making Decisions about Memorials
Social Media
Key Considerations
Involve Students
Disseminate Information
Online Memorial Pages
Monitor and Respond
Suicide Contagion
Key Considerations
Identifying Other Students at Possible Risk for Suicide
Connecting with Local Mental Health Resources
Suicide Clusters
Bringing in Outside Help
Going Forward
Appendices
Appendix A: Tools and Templates
Sample Guidelines for Initial All-Staff Meeting
Sample Death Notification Statement for Students
Sample Death Notification Statement for Parents
Sample Agenda for Parent Meeting
Tips for Talking about Suicide
Sample Media Statement
Key Messages for Media Spokesperson
Making Decisions about School-Related Memorials
Facts about Suicide in Adolescents
Youth Warning Signs and What to Do in a Crisis
Appendix B: Additional Resources
Crisis Response
Helping Students Cop
Working with the Community
Working with the Media
Memorialization
Social Media
Suicide Contagion
Appendix C: Additional Reviewers of the First Edition

For help in Australia

CAPS – Talk Suicide Support Service – Free telephone and face to face support      1800 008 255

Salvation Army Care Line     1300 36 36 22

Reach Out     http://au.reachout.com/tough-times

Headspace     Register and chat now at eheadspace, or call 1800 650 890  Headspace

Lifeline    13 11 14

Mensline Australia 1300 78 99 78 (24 hour phone counselling and referral)

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Mates in Construction: 1300 642 111

QLife        1800 184 527    Phone & Chat  3.00 – 12.00 pm everyday

SANE Australia help

SANE Australia Helpline  –  Talk to a mental health professional (weekdays, 10am-10pm AEST) 1800 18 72 63

Helpline chat – Chat online with a mental health professional (weekdays 10am-10pm AEST)

Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (24 hour phone counselling)

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (Professional call back service referral line operates seven days a week)

Veterans Line 1800 011 046 (after hours professional telephone crisis counselling for veterans and their families

Western Australian Representation on the National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum

NMHCCF LOGO

Applications must be received by 5pm, Monday, 30 April 2018

The National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum (NMHCCF) is the combined national voice for consumers and carers participating in the development of mental health policy and sector development in Australia. More information about the work of the NMHCCF can be found at their website www.nmhccf.org.au.

More information about the role including position description, selection criteria, remuneration, tenure, support, reporting requirements and an application form is available.

 

 

 

The Australian Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia

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Suicide Prevention Australia will be making a submission and requests feedback by Friday 4th May, 2018, see SPA Survey link below.

SPA values the experience that its members have in the provision of accessible, appropriate and quality services to people living in rural and remote areas of our nation. SPA’s submission to the inquiry will greatly benefit by any contribution that you would wish to make. Accordingly, The SPA Team would like to offer you the opportunity to contribute to a suicide prevention specific submission to this inquiry.
We are working within a tight deadline given the advertised closing date of 11 May 2018 for submissions so we would appreciate you responding to this survey by Friday 4 May 2018 to assist in development of that submission. We also welcome responses by direct email to Membership@suicidepreventionaust.org and are also happy to set up phone interviews where possible with members of the team.
Several of you might wish to make submissions directly to focus on detail in your particular area of expertise/demographic requirements. We would welcome this.
The inquiry and report will focus on the below criteria.
The accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia, with specific reference to:
  • the nature and underlying causes of rural and remote Australians accessing mental health services at a much lower rate;
  • the higher rate of suicide in rural and remote Australia;
  • the nature of the mental health workforce;
  • the challenges of delivering mental health services in the regions;
  • attitudes towards mental health services;
  • opportunities that technology presents for improved service delivery; and
  • any other related matters.

Many thanks as always for your contribution to amplifying the diverse voices of suicide prevention.

Warm regards
Tracy
Lived Experience Program Manager
02 9262 1130

On Children – Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Marianna, Kahlil's Sister

Marianna, Kahlil’s Sister. Painting by Kahlil Gibran

 

Parents’ Experiences of Suicide-Bereavement: A Qualitative Study at 6 and 12 Months after Loss

International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health

Victoria Ross, Kairi Kõlves *, Lisa Kunde and Diego De Leo

Abstract: The death of a child by suicide is a severe trauma, placing parents at greater risk of psychological morbidity and physical health problems compared to other causes of death. However, few studies have examined the aftermath and bereavement experience for parents following the death of a child to suicide, limiting the ability to guide effective postvention services through empirical research. The current study, which was part of a larger longitudinal investigation of suicide bereavement in Queensland, Australia, examined the individual experiences of both mothers and
fathers bereaved by suicide over time, specifically at the six month and 12 month time points after their loss. Bereaved parents who had provided written consent to be contacted for research purposes were identified through the Queensland Suicide Register, and took part in individual, semi-structured interviews. Generic qualitative analysis identified three key themes: searching for answers and sense-making, coping strategies and support, and finding meaning and purpose. Some participants showed indications of meaning-making and post-traumatic growth at 12 months after the suicide.
According to the dual process model of bereavement, it is likely that participants were still oscillating between sense-making and meaning making, indicating that adapting to bereavement is a dynamic and fluctuating process.
Keywords: suicide-bereavement; parents; sense-making; meaning-making; coping; qualitative

3. Results

Three key themes were identified from the analysis: searching for answers and sense-making, coping strategies and support, and finding meaning and purpose.

3.1. Searching for Answers and Sense-Making
All participants (male and female) described their struggles to make sense of their loss, and their search for answers for reasons for their child’s suicide. This contemplative and reflective process was dominant across all interviews at both six months and 12 months. Parents spoke of their often traumatic experiences leading up the suicide, such as their child’s mental health problems, incidents of self-harm and suicide attempts; and in turn, questioned what could have been done differently. Where there had been no previous indications that the suicide would occur, parents described their feelings of shock and bewilderment, and reflected on their many unanswered questions about the
motivations for the suicide. Some parents described their frustrations at trying to obtain information from coroners, psychologists and doctors in order to gain some understanding of the reasons for the suicide. For some, the process of searching for answers resulted in anger and blaming others (e.g., their child’s friends who were perceived to be a bad influence, doctors and the health system that were not
able to help).
“You question so much all the time. Because you’re going to naturally question whether
it’s you, whether he’s in trouble at uni, money trouble . . . Maybe he was depressed. I don’t know. We didn’t see any signs… It would’ve been nice to have someone who would’ve had the answers, to tell you the thought processes that could go on. But no one’s really had any idea. Just the questions behind why—give us some ideas why he would’ve done it.” (Father:6 months).

“There are times when you start to think and you think, why? I mean we had no idea that he’d ever do anything like this, we didn’t think he would. He even said that he would never ever do anything like this, and then to turn around and do it.” (Mother: 6 months).

I don’t think they did the right thing for her. They were treating her and checking her out of hospital five days later into the same environment where she came from. Is this the right way to treat these sorts of people? I suppose I’ll always question why the medical system had to let her down. I’m looking for somebody to blame, somebody’s ass to kick. How did this happen? What could you do to prevent it? (Father: 12 months).

Despite their search for answers and struggles to make sense of their loss, several mothers at both the six and 12 month period, indicated that they were beginning to accept the finality of the death of their child and were resigned to the fact that the situation could not be changed.

“My answers probably would have been different six months ago, but now I’m, like I’m
resigned to the fact that she’s not coming back obviously. It’s just, as time passes the pain
doesn’t go away but it gets easier.” (Mother: 6 months).

“We’ve gone through a year and you still have moments of why and if, and all the rest of it, but I suppose in my head and in my heart I know that it doesn’t matter what I do now,
she can’t ever re-arrive. It’s not like in the beginning when you think ‘oh it’s like as if she’s gone away and she’s still alive’, but you realize after a while that doesn’t happen . . . but it leaves a massive void. There’s a deep spot there and we know that place in your head and heart will become less painful, but that spot still just remains.” (Mother: 12 months).
3.2. Coping Strategies and Support
Parents revealed a variety of coping styles—both adaptive and maladaptive, although there were no obvious differences between mothers and fathers in the types of strategies applied. A number of parents mentioned avoidance of the topic (i.e., refusing to discuss the loss of their child with their partner/families or others), with some individuals describing how they did not like to talk about the suicide to their partner, and others recounting how it was their partner who refused to discuss their loss.

These examples were seen across both genders. Another example of avoidance was shown in fathers who reported working excessively in order to avoid the pain of thinking about their loss. Several parents also mentioned that they were drinking excessively, and for some this problem appeared to be increasing. Others spoke of their difficulties sleeping and their subsequent use of alcohol and/or marijuana in order to help them sleep at night. One mother described how she was only just coping, and described her pain as something that she simply had to endure.
“But we don’t really talk about it—if you mean the incident or what happened.” (Father:
12 months).

“It’s the weekly, every day drinking in the week that’s definitely increased. Whereas before, we’d try not drink for three days . . . but now it’s definitely, at least one bottle to myself, every night.” (Father: 6 months).

“Like I said, you know, you either collapse under the pile, or you scrabble up with it, dig in your toes, and your fingernails, and even your teeth if you have to, to just rise above it . . . ” (Mother: 6 months).

There were also numerous examples of adaptive coping strategies implemented by bereaved parents. Parents described positive coping strategies that ranged from simple approaches such as trying to maintain a positive attitude and looking after their physical and mental health, to more complex strategies such as keeping memories alive and rituals that helped ensure a continuing bond with their child. Several fathers told of how they found it helpful to keep a journal where they wrote letters to their child. Some parents described the importance of celebrating their child’s birthdays (which was generally thought to be far more positive and preferable to marking the day of their loss). Others maintained a connection with their child through visits to their loved one’s grave-site or resting place. Some parents (both male and female) described how their faith/religion and attending church had helped them cope. Keeping occupied and maintaining a routine through work and other interests were also cited as coping strategies.

“If I was to say there were two things that have helped a lot in me just processing what’s
going on in life and where I’m at and reflect on myself—going for walks and thinking and a little bit of talking out loud . . . But also, writing a kind of journal, which is typically just like a brain dump of where I’m at, what I’m thinking. On occasions, I’ve done a letter to Edward and they’ve been good ways for me to step back and evaluate where I’m at.” (Father:12 months).

“I go (to the cemetery) every week. I pick up the flowers on a Friday because I’ve got a
standing order at the florist.” (Mother: 12 months).
“My sister made this amazing cake which somehow she managed to put a vibrant pink heart through the centre. So again, the family came together in little dribs and drabs to celebrate.” (Mother: 6 months).

Some parents (both mothers and fathers) described how attending individual counselling and suicide bereavement support groups had been critical to their ongoing coping and recovery. When discussing support groups, participants spoke of their sense of relief at being able to talk to others who understood and had suffered the same loss. In addition, one mother recounted how her workplace had been greatly supportive of her loss (e.g., helping her to access counselling, and showing empathy and consideration regarding her need to take time off), which she felt helped with her ability to cope.

“We found it very useful . . . everyone tells their story and you can open up and they tell
you things. You stop feeling like you are the only unlucky people in the world. That it does happen to other people as well, even if it’s a small number. You’re not the only ones, which is comforting to know that there’s other people (in the same position).” (Father: 6 months).

“I see him (psychiatrist) about once a month and I just sort of, I suppose, put all the questions into my head that I think need to be answered and of course he doesn’t answer them, I answer them, but it’s something to discuss together.” (Mother: 12 months).
There was considerable variation in levels of support received by bereaved parents, with some participants describing strong support from their partner/spouse, family and friends, and others with very little support. Several individuals said they felt fortunate to be able to speak openly and share feelings with their partners and family members, and described how this helped with their ability to cope. One father spoke of the importance of friendships and having a sense of connectedness to others. However, a number of others reported feeling less patient and uncomfortable with family and
friends, resulting in their withdrawal from social interactions; indicating reduced opportunities to receive social support.

“I’ve got a good supportive family group. I think I have a good enough family and
friendships to be able to share thoughts and feelings . . . and I can talk openly with.” (Father:12 months).

“Even if I go to my friends’ houses and I see their family together it upsets me a little
bit . . . and then someone says ‘how many kids have you got?’ and I’ve got to say
‘four now’(referring to the loss of her son).” (Mother: 12 months).

“When I go to my outer family . . . if anything I’ve probably shut down a bit more to them. I’ve probably become a bit more insular.” (Mother: 12 months).

3.3. Finding Meaning and Purpose
At the 12 months interviews, a number of parents indicated that they had come to terms with their loss and had started to find meaning and purpose in their lives. For several parents, living through their loss and grief was seen as a learning process which had led to some positive outcomes. Participants spoke of how their experience had made them reflect and re-evaluate their lives, which had in turn enabled them to grow emotionally and spiritually. In addition, many parents described how they felt that they had a greater awareness of others who might be in need of help, and were more aware and open to listening and offering help.
“For me it was cathartic. It helped me have a purpose. As I say I’ve probably readdressed
quite a few things in my life, or we both have. Helping people go forward, to me is a great thing and certainly helping any young person deal with the un-assurances of life.” (Mother:12 months).

“I just attribute this sense of reinvigorated connections with other people, this much more candid and open and openly caring kind of two-way relationships that I’ve got with all these people, including my close family, have really come about because I got this big wake-up call from Edward leaving. It just catapulted me into a different way of living. It’s like it’s just made me do this whole re-prioritising and re-evaluating.” (Father: 12 months).

Others spoke of how they had learnt to change their priorities, placing more value on life and not taking everyday things for granted. Participants described a wide variety of ways in which they were making their lives meaningful again to enable them to move forward. Making a positive contribution through work, helping others through charity work and fundraising, connecting with nature through walks and camping trips, and simply being open to enjoying experiences and friendships were all cited as ways in which parents were beginning to move forward with life. However, it should be noted
that not all parents reported such positive responses, with some still struggling with their grief and unable to move forward at the 12 month time period.

“I’m definitely living life. I feel sorry for other people that are just surviving because I’m
going through everything at the moment, but it’s a privilege. I’ve always been a bit spiritual, but I’m making more decisions now and I’ve grown up. I’ve said to (my wife) this is it; it’s not going to be ‘we’re going to be good to each other today and then tomorrow we’re not’. It’s going to be forever and that’s it. It’s just being happy and living your life. And that’s because of Peter, exactly because of Peter.” (Father: 12 months).

“It doesn’t matter whether you have two or 10 or 20 (years of life left) the lesson that it
teaches you is make the best, look into it and see what’s really good in there and take that
out and go with it. Make sure that the things that you’re doing right have purpose. Don’t
dilly-daddle with the nonsense in life, you know. You know life is very precious and you
have to do the best with the time you’ve got, whatever that time is.” (Mother: 12 months).

“I have good days and bad days. It’s horrible, just horrible. There’s probably not a day goes by that I don’t have a cry … It just doesn’t get any easier.” (Mother: 12 months).

“I tend to think more about being deliberate in how I use my time to enjoy it and to take in new experiences, or revisit experiences I’ve enjoyed that I might have let fall by the wayside over the years. So a drive to the beach, a walk on the beach, trip in the country, just being on the open road, all those are things that I haven’t done much in recent years.” (Father:12 months).

Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Menzies Health Institute of Queensland, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt Campus, Mount Gravatt, QLD 4122, Australia; victoria.ross@griffith.edu.au (V.R.); l.kunde@griffith.edu.au (L.K.);
d.deleo@griffith.edu.au (D.D.L.)
* Correspondence: k.kolves@griffith.edu.au; Tel.: +61-7-373-53-380

the sky

For help in Australia

CAPS – Talk Suicide Support Service – Free telephone and face to face support      1800 008 255

Salvation Army Care Line     1300 36 36 22

Reach Out     http://au.reachout.com/tough-times

Headspace     Register and chat now at eheadspace, or call 1800 650 890  Headspace

Lifeline    13 11 14

Mensline Australia 1300 78 99 78 (24 hour phone counselling and referral)

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Mates in Construction: 1300 642 111

QLife        1800 184 527    Phone & Chat  3.00 – 12.00 pm everyday

SANE Australia help

SANE Australia Helpline  –  Talk to a mental health professional (weekdays, 10am-10pm AEST) 1800 18 72 63

Helpline chat – Chat online with a mental health professional (weekdays 10am-10pm AEST)

Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (24 hour phone counselling)

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (Professional call back service referral line operates seven days a week)

Veterans Line 1800 011 046 (after hours professional telephone crisis counselling for veterans and their families

 

My son’s poem – trigger warning

Hey hon’, you look like too much fun

So we’re going to dose you to the eyeballs for a while

It should make you smile

You won’t be an eyesore

But you won’t be the same anymore.

 

What those robots?

Nah there just the doctors

They are well-rounded people

Like ice road truckers …

Motherfuckers look out for their own neck

While my brothers’ swing from theirs

 

There’s something wrong with you

Can’t read between the lines cus you take me for a cereal

Until I flat-line, it’s so fine.

 

There’s probs a better place

With no discrimination and judgement of race

Where church, science and state are all rolled up into one abomination that

Can brainwash you control the motion

Stay patient, or be one

Don’t worry ‘bout the population.

 

Dad would ask me, can you stop the pain son?

My answer would be yes, with a bullet n a gun

Would you like to die with dignity?

You don’t have the option.

 

Are you feeling sick?

Oh, you have a mental illness

We thought you had a REAL problem, like syphilis.

 

No my head’s a mess

I’m stressed, depressed ‘n slipknot is the best

Go cut yourself and make sure you do it properly

I could help you but I’m playing real life monopoly.

 

If you see Kurt Cobain tell him I said

Hey, if it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have so much suicide today

I hope there’ll always be crazies cus how else would I get paid?

 

All your problems are the same

You can’t play the game

So be part of society

Or, get hit by a train.

 

I know everything on mental illness

That’s what these diplomas show

Can I walk in your shoes?

Well not exactly no.

April 26, 2013

help

For help in Australia

CAPS – Talk Suicide Support Service – Free telephone and face to face support      1800 008 255

Salvation Army Care Line     1300 36 36 22

Reach Out     http://au.reachout.com/tough-times

Headspace     Register and chat now at eheadspace, or call 1800 650 890  Headspace

Lifeline    13 11 14

Mensline Australia 1300 78 99 78 (24 hour phone counselling and referral)

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Mates in Construction: 1300 642 111

QLife        1800 184 527    Phone & Chat  3.00 – 12.00 pm everyday

SANE Australia help

SANE Australia Helpline  –  Talk to a mental health professional (weekdays, 10am-10pm AEST) 1800 18 72 63

Helpline chat – Chat online with a mental health professional (weekdays 10am-10pm AEST)

Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (24 hour phone counselling)

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (Professional call back service referral line operates seven days a week)

Veterans Line 1800 011 046 (after hours professional telephone crisis counselling for veterans and their families

 

Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP): A Study Comparing Rural and Metropolitan Mental Health

Rural people are at significantly higher risk of suicide and generally report limited access to mental health support compared to metropolitan Australians. Complete this research to help us determine the best intervention strategies to address this gap.

If you would like to find out more, or to complete this survey please click HERE.

Researcher: Amy Kaukiainen M. Clinical Psychology, Griffith University, amy.kaukiainen@griffithuni.edu.au
Supervisor: Kairi Kolves, AISRAP Principle Research Fellow, k.kolves@griffith.edu.au

Ethics Clearance

This study has been cleared in accordance with the ethical review process of Griffith University and within the guidelines of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. (GU Ref No: 2017/910)
If you find the material triggering or distressing, please contact your local GP or mental health professional.Lifeline is also available 24/7 with trained counsellors on 13 14 11.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the questionnaire you completed, please don’t hesitate to contact the researcher.  If you decide you would no longer like your data to be included in the study please contact the researcher who will remove your details from the database using the six letter code provided.  Similarly, if you would like to be sent the results of the research, please contact the researcher it will be available by October 2018.

Provisional Psychologist and Student Researcher: Amy Kaukiainen: amy.kaukiainen@griffithuni.edu.au.

Debrief

Evidence suggests that occupants of rural and remote areas were at a higher risk of ending their lives by suicide than those in metropolitan areas (Phillips, 2009).  Men were at particularly high risk, where remote men were 2.6 times more likely to end their lives via suicide compared to metropolitan men. Generally, an agricultural occupation within such rural settings also increased risk (Miller and Burns, 2008, Weerasinghe et al, 2009).  The rural lifestyle has long been considered a domain where the people are ‘tough’.  Rural people, particularly males, are traditionally considered physically and emotionally strong, and able to solve their own problems (Alston & Kent, 2008, Bourke, 2003).  It is reasonable to suggest this mentality transcends high levels of stoicism. Stoicism is defined as the endurance of pain or hardship, without the display of feelings and without complaint.  Stoicism has been linked to lower levels of help seeking intentions for psychological issues, lower quality of life (Murray et al, 2008) as well as a tendency to actively avoid situations where they will be encouraged to discuss their thoughts, emotions and problems (Judd et al 2006).  Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that the relationship between stoicism and help seeking intentions may be moderated by rural or metropolitan status due to exacerbated stoicism.  Another factor affecting this relationship may be suicidal ideation and/or previous attempts.  Help seeking intentions for those with suicidal ideation and/or past attempts is expected to be lower regardless of levels of stoicism due to the help negation effect.  The help negation effect explains that the more suicidal thoughts a person has, the less likely they are to seek help (Yakunina, Rogers, Waehler & Werth, 2010).

The relationship between stoicism and lower quality of life was mediated by negative attitudes to help seeking (Murray et al, 2008).  This suggests that whilst a stoic attitude may be somewhat innate to the rural lifestyle, lower quality of life can be explained by malleable factors such as attitudes.

The current research aims to compare rural and metropolitan samples on their suicidal behaviours, personality factors such as stoicism, help seeking intentions, mental health literacy and attitudes to mental health professionals.  Previous literature suggests stoicism is associated with lower help seeking intentions.  The novel concept of this research is to explore how this relationship may be accounted by mental health literacy and attitudes towards help seeking.  Ultimately, improving attitudes towards mental health professional could become a target for interventions to address barriers to help seeking, particularly in rural settings.
If you would like to go into the draw to win one of three $50 Coles/Myer vouchers please click on the link below to enter your email address into a separate data base (if you are unable to click on the link, please copy and paste to your browser).

By electing to participate, you accept these terms and conditions as governing the prize draw. Instructions on how to enter the prize draw and details advertising the survey form part of the conditions. Any personal information you provide to us in the course of entering the prize draw will be dealt with by us in accordance with our privacy policy (published at: https://www.griffith.edu.au/about-griffith/governance/plans-publications/griffith-university-privacy-plan)

CGEAF6

 

For help in Australia

CAPS – Talk Suicide Support Service – Free telephone and face to face support      1800 008 255

Salvation Army Care Line     1300 36 36 22

Reach Out     http://au.reachout.com/tough-times

Headspace     Register and chat now at eheadspace, or call 1800 650 890  Headspace

Lifeline    13 11 14

Mensline Australia 1300 78 99 78 (24 hour phone counselling and referral)

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Mates in Construction: 1300 642 111

QLife        1800 184 527    Phone & Chat  3.00 – 12.00 pm everyday

SANE Australia help

SANE Australia Helpline  –  Talk to a mental health professional (weekdays, 10am-10pm AEST) 1800 18 72 63

Helpline chat – Chat online with a mental health professional (weekdays 10am-10pm AEST)

Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (24 hour phone counselling)

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (Professional call back service referral line operates seven days a week)

Veterans Line 1800 011 046 (after hours professional telephone crisis counselling for veterans and their families