In recent years we have become more aware of the dark reality of suicide in Australia and New Zealand. Every 40 seconds, someone in the world commits suicide. In the past 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60%, and Australia and New Zealand now have some of the worst rates in the world.
In October 2009, Professor De Leo, director of the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention at Griffith University in Brisbane, told MiNDFOOD that it is a mistake to blame suicide solely on ‘disease’. While suicide is often associated with mental illnesses, such as depression, he said it is better understood as an escape from an unbearable situation, where it’s believed there is no way forward. Sometimes, just inquiring about a person’s day may unwittingly help prevent a suicide, said De Leo.
Lifeline Australia’s general manager, Alan Woodward, said: “One of the most unfortunate consequences of not understanding suicide and not wanting to talk about it is that sometimes we all can miss the cues. We can miss the cry for help.”
For support, call the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865.