Start a conversation and check in this Suicide Prevention Day (10th September)
Suicide is a serious concern for New Zealand communities. Around 500 New Zealanders die each year by suicide, with many more attempting suicide. This has a tragic impact on the lives of many others – families, whānau, friends and workmates, communities and society as a whole.
Most people who attempt suicide don’t want to die – they just want their pain to end or can’t see another way out of their situation. Support from people who care about them, and connection with their own sense of culture, identity and purpose, can help them to find a way through.
Often people thinking of suicide give out lots of signals that they are not okay. One of the best things we can do is ask how they are and be prepared to listen. Start a conversation if you are worried about someone you care about – get them talking, connect with them, listen to them:
- When someone tells you they feel suicidal, or feel like “ending it all”, listen without judgement. Often having someone to talk to can help keep someone safe.
- When someone tells you they feel suicidal, or feel like “ending it all” – take them seriously. Every attempt to reach out for help is an opportunity to help keep someone safe.
If someone has attempted suicide, or you’re worried about their immediate safety
- Call your local mental health crisis assessment team (numbers below) or go with them to the emergency department (ED) at your nearest hospital
- Canterbury and Mid-Canterbury – 0800 902 092
- South Canterbury – 0800 277 997
- West Coast – 0800 757 678
- Call 111 if they are an immediate physical danger to themselves or others.
- Stay with them until support arrives.
- Remove any obvious means of suicide they might use.
- Try to stay calm and let them know you care.
- Keep them talking: listen and ask questions without judging.
- Make sure you are safe.
Getting help if you having suicidal thoughts or you’re worried someone is thinking about suicide
There are several helplines you can call for support or information:
- Lifeline – 0800 543 354
- Suicide Prevention Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOK0)
- Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234
- Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Sources: Mental Health Foundation, Ministry of Health and Lifeline Aotearoa websites.Published on Monday, August 8th, 2016, under Uncategorised