Suicide prevention in focus during May

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.
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.

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

On Wednesday May 29 the 'Network of Networks' Forum for suicide prevention is being held in the Riverside Centre, 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.

Mayor, Karen Redman, Health Minister Stephen Wade, Premier's Advocate for Suicide Prevention John Dawkins, and Chief Psychiatrist Dr John Brayley will all be speaking on the day.

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.

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.