On Wednesday 3/4/19 I am really proud to say that we are going to be a part of something massive in the world of suicide prevention. Not massive, as in a crowd of thousands (we know that this cause of death is something the community still finds too uncomfortable to openly deal with). But massive in terms of opening a door, for our local communities, inclusive of young people, to contribute to the prevention of a devastating preventable cause of death: SUICIDE.
One brave women, Vivienne, had the guts, the determination and the overwhelming desire to try and prevent any more people dying the way her son died in 2015. We met and decided to turn our collective determination, frustration, grief and anger into something positive.
Here’s why I am involved…
Everyday the awesome staff in my team support people from the community brave enough to disclose that they no longer see the point in living; ranging from a pervasive sense of worthlessness, to those who have the end of their lives all worked out. The prevalence of this, across all age ranges shocks me, but I remain aghast at the rise of this presentation within our young people.
Everyday we have families forced to act as pseudo mental health professionals in their own home, with their own family members, taking turns to monitor their loved one 24 hours a day, to keep them alive, because our mental health system cannot cope. They might be too acute for the private system, not acute enough for the public system, too young for the services, too old for the services, or not willing to engage in a service system which cannot provide any substantial assertive engagement to keep people professionally supported.
Everyday we have families, friends, school mates grieving in silence, struggling with guilt that they didn’t do more, angry that the system did not do enough. They grieve in a silent world because we don’t know how to support them with their grief; we stop talking about their deceased loved ones as if their method of death defined their lives. I cannot begin to tell you how this world is affecting those left behind. It’s tearing their worlds apart and forcing our kids into coping behaviours that jeopardises their own development, their own lives, because they have no other form of escape.
There are several stories here and they remain a twisted knot within my body and mind, that I am not able to untangle. It distresses me, it unnerves me, it saddens me, it drives me:
*The story of 2 beautiful kids, in the same class, within 12 months, who died way too young, without the professional and community support they required and deserved.
*The families of those two kids, now stuck in a world of suffocating grief
*The friends of those two kids, changed forever, trapped in a world we, as adults, cannot navigate ourselves, let alone lead them out of
*Our son… His downward spiral into the public mental health system, the traumatic and long journey to keep him alive and then actually helping him to live again
*Vivienne’s son, dead at the age of 26, while engaged in a mental health service system that could not keep him alive
This network will openly celebrate the lives of those lost to suicide.
This network will acknowledge the impact of those deaths on the people left behind
This network will train our community members to help those at risk of suicide
This network will include young people to develop meaningfully prevention activities
Please support our drive to prevent suicide by attending our Launch to find out about our positive plans and how you can be involved.