Why we need to bark up about the black dog
WHENEVER a young person dies suddenly, the aftermath of the death affects entire communities.
But when it is suicide, it's often spoken of in hushed tones.
In the media we're advised to tread carefully around the subject, which I understand, but sometimes the message is lost.
Suicide has passed traffic accidents and cancer as the leading cause of teenage deaths for the third year in a row.
This is something that we, as family, friends, colleagues, teammates, the media, desperately need to bring to public attention.
Over the past fortnight, I have reported on or heard of half a dozen suicides of young people on the Sunshine Coast.
I've covered suicide in small towns in Central Queensland and the Coast and it has devastating consequences.
It breaks my heart for the young men and women, and their families.
While each individual case is never the same - be it mental health issues, work-related stress or relationship breakdowns - there is one common trend.
It's quite often people that you never expect who take their own life.
They're often happy, smiling, bubbly - the life of the party, the bringer of good times.
Some say, "well, it's their choice", "they chose to commit suicide".
Have a word to yourself if you say such things.
While they might have made the choice, to them, not living was simply a better option than living.
Try and put yourself in their shoes.
And, if someone close to you is showing signs, ask them how they're doing. Before it's too late.
If you or someone you love is in crisis or needs support right now, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call 000.