Suicide prevention in focus in May

South Australian suicide prevention 'networks' will come together in Gawler next month to share ideas and learn from one another. 

This 'Network of Networks' was recently announced by the Premier's Advocate for Suicide Prevention Hon John Dawkins, set for May 29 at the Salvation Army Corps centre in Gawler. 

South Australia's Suicide Prevention Networks play a critical role in bringing awareness and breaking down stigma around the issue of mental health and suicide which, sadly, claims hundreds of lives per year, devastating many family members, friends and colleagues.

These Networks are established in council areas across SA with the collaborative efforts of SA Health, Local Government and community volunteers.

This event has been supported by Gawler Mayor Karen Redman, who has long encouraged the work of the Gawler Suicide Prevention Community Group.

"These groups take simple actions to prevent suicide in their community through starting life-saving conversations, organising education and training sessions and linking individuals to available services" Mr Dawkins said.

"By encouraging networks to work together, new initiatives in suicide awareness, prevention, intervention and postvention can be introduced in their areas".

Many metropolitan and regional Networks will attend the forum, share insights about their local activities, and receive valuable information from keynote speakers.

Barossa Council Suicide Prevention Initiative

Two weeks prior to the State-wide forum, the Barossa Council is hosting a forum to establish its own suicide prevention network in the Barossa. 

The creation of a Barossa network will aim to fill a gap in support for those struggling with depression in the Barossa.

Barossa Mayor Bim Lange has extended an invitation to local community groups and individuals to attend the forum to be held at The Barossa Council Nuriootpa office on May 13 from 6.30pm.

Register your attendance by May 6 to spforum@barossa.sa.gov.au or phone 8563 8444 or SMS 0400 439 762.

Statistics paint a grim picture

The preliminary Causes of Death data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed a total of 3,128 people died by suicide in 2017: 2,348 males and 780 females. That's over 8 deaths by suicide every day.

In 2017, 224 people died by suicide in South Australia: 164 males and 60 females. These figures account for 7.2 per cent of all deaths by suicide in Australia.

The annual number of deaths by suicide has been steadily increasing over the past two decades. Every year it's estimated that over 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt; which translates to more than 180 every day.

What these numbers show is that suicide is a growing public health concern for all Australians.

To get help 24/7, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, phone 000 for emergency services.