Dealing with suicide in our society

Suicide prevention is a topic our society must meet head on.
Suicide prevention is a topic our society must meet head on.

IT IS an event that can haunt loved ones, cause unfounded guilt and destroy lives, and yet as a society we still struggle to talk about suicide.

For regional communities isolation can often play a role in the feelings of depression and abandonment that can lead to this silent killer.

One organisation taking a bold stand against youth mental health is Ties For Lives.

Bright red-spotted ties are worn by participants to spark conversation and raise awareness of the issue.

The initiative culminates in Fold-It Fridays for the month of November and aims to bring mental health 'out of the shadows' and into public dialogue.

Murray Tomlinson has worked as a pastor for 40 years, 30 of those in regional Queensland, and praised the initiative.

He has worked and lived in Dalby since January 1998 and has been an ear for a great cross-section of the local community.

"It is often people who live at properties or away from central town hubs that can feel like they have nobody to talk to," Pastor Tomlinson said.

"The thing most people struggle with is broken families. People can lose their identity when those support structures go."

 "It is a difficult thing suicide. You can't always pick the people. It's usually the people that don't talk about it.

"You need someone to show interest and love in you as a person and when people feel they don't have that in life….."

In 2010, 2361 Australians took their lives, and it is this sobering figure that mental health staff across the country are trying to combat.

Dalby Hospital offers free and confidential Community Mental Health Services specialising in the treatment of individuals who have or are at risk of developing mental illness.

Anybody wanting to participate in Fold-it Fridays can visit tiesforlives. or join the Ties For Lives Facebook page.

Dalby Hospital offers free and
confidential services at the
Community Mental Health Centre
on Hospital Rd, Dalby. The services
run Monday to Friday. Phone
4669 0501.
■ The centre also offers an
outreach mental health program to
Dalby and the surrounding district,
including child, youth and adult
services, and an outreach program
to Tara and Western Downs.
■ Salvation Army Dalby offers
counselling services and outreach
services across the Western Downs,
phone 4662 2575.
■ Dalby's Lifeline counsellor can be
reached on 4688 3730.
■ You can contact the 24-hour Lifeline
help line on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline. for its online counselling service
which is open between the hours of
8pm and midnight, seven days a week.

Topics:  counsellor dalby lifeline suicidal suicide prevention

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