Let’s Talk About Suicide Prevention

Suicide rates boom over the festive season and it seems to be a trigger for many people with mental illnesses like depression or personality disorders. It’s mainly because they feel alone, hopeless, strained, useless, purposeless or utterly miserable. It’s difficult for them to watch the rest of society enjoying the festivities and celebrations, particularly when they feel like running away and hiding until its all over. Worse still, they may feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is too far away for them to reach.

Being a loved one watching someone close to them cope with this can be exceptionally difficult. Some will threaten suicide, while others withdraw as the thought continually crosses their mind. People with mental illness like Borderline Personality Disorder threaten suicide on a regular basis. Some do end up achieving their goal and many others have made unsuccessful attempts.

The seriousness of suicide is that no one ever really knows when it’s going to happen. So when loved ones do threaten to end their lives or begin to slide into the ibis, those closest to them often feel compelled to intervene. The main problem is, most of us are unsure of what to do or how to help. The following list are recommendations from Lifeline about how to help loved ones in the prevention of suicide.

1. Ask them if they have been thinking about suicide. Be direct stating, “Are you thinking about suicide?” Chances are, if they have been having thoughts about ending their lives, they will want to discuss it with someone they can be honest with.

2. Listen to them. You know the old saying a problem shared is a problem halved? Simply taking the time and effort to listen to someone in need can make a big difference. Avoid getting distracted by others, technology and allow time for them to be heard and appreciated.

3. Check their safety. Being alone at a time when suicide is becoming a viable option, isn’t ideal. If you need to, offer to stay with them or have them come with you. If you can’t do it, organise someone who can.

4. Ask for a promise or get a written contract that they won’t commit suicide. If they have been feeling like they have let people down, they will want to stick to the agreement.

5. Don’t lecture them about how they should feel or what they should do. Many people equate suicide with selfishness and a first response is about this. When someone is considering suicide, they may feel that life would be better for others if they weren’t around. Telling them that they are being selfish is counterproductive.

6. No-one should support a suicidal individual on their own. It can be mentally, emotionally and physically draining. To look after yourself engage the help of others, which may include family, friends and professionals like GP’s, counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists.

Lastly, the most important thing you need to do to support them is looking after your needs first. They may want to lean on you for a prolonged period of time and this will be exhausting. They also need to learn skills to cope on their own. Therefore, it’s imperative you let others know the situation and seek help immediately.

If someone you know is in need of help, the following contacts are available.

  • Emergency 000
  • Lifeline crisis 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

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December 23, 2014

#MondayPerson Campaign For Beyond Blue

The #MondayPerson campaign is a workplace mental health initiative developed by Martin College to support Beyond Blue. According to John Martin: “To get involved, you just need to show us your Monday face! Take a photograph of yourself and upload to your Facebook or Instagram account. Make sure that the post is public, and to tag your selfie with ‘#MondayPerson’ and ‘#MartinCollege’ and Martin will donate a dollar to Beyond Blue on your behalf.”

Yes folks, it’s that easy to show your support to help Beyond Blue and Martin Collage with their campaign. John Martin, Head of  Martin College was kind enough to answer our questions about their connection with Beyond Blue.  He spoke about why it was initiated, what they are doing and how support from our readers and the wider community will make a difference.

Why has Martin College decided to support Beyond Blue to reduce the stigma of mental health, specifically in the workplace?

Martin has chosen to support Beyond Blue in order to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health issues, particularly in the workplace, because statistics indicate that a growing number of Australians are dissatisfied at work and unhappy in their careers. While many symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety can be debilitating, very few people experiencing these conditions seek help.

Please explain what Martin College and/or Beyond Blue have chosen to do.

Martin has chosen to donate $1 to Beyond Blue for each selfie that is uploaded to a user’s Facebook or Instagram account and includes the hashtags, ‘#MondayPerson’ and ‘#MartinCollege’, up to a total of $25,000.

Please explain how this initiative was instigated.

We began to realise that many of our students had come to us out of dissatisfaction and frustration in their previous jobs. Many of them were looking to change their lives and had suffered from depression, anxiety or stress at some point in their career. We understand that this is a significant issue, but is rarely spoken of, so it made us want to be part of a solution to raise awareness and help reduce the stigma.

Why was this type of promotion chosen?

This type of promotion was chosen because it allows Martin to support Beyond Blue financially while also getting the public involved. This element of social participation helps us raise awareness of the issues at hand, as well as raising funds toward the financial goal of $25,000.

What steps have been taken to launch this initiative?

The campaign kicked off internally at Martin & our overhead company on 24 November, with ambassadors promoting the selfie initiative to staff members at Study Group campuses across Australia and New Zealand. Ambassadors and volunteers engaged with the public on 1 December in Sydney’s CBD to encourage their participation, with Brisbane following suit the following Monday 8 December. The initiative is also being actively promoted across Martin’s website and social media accounts.

Ultimately, what is Martin College and Beyond Blue hoping to achieve?

Through their #MondayPerson initiatives, Martin hopes to not only raise awareness of mental health issues, but also to encourage people to take charge of their career and future happiness. The flexible online and on-campus study options make it easier than ever to obtain a career-changing qualification in as little as twelve months. Martin wants to put individuals on the path to a career they are passionate about; one that they can’t wait to get to each morning – even on Mondays!

What will support for this initiative achieve?

Support for this initiative will raise awareness of workplace depression, stress and anxiety, and help remove the stigma that is associated with mental health issues.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Just an understanding that if you or your friends or family are suffering from workplace mental health issues, that you don’t need to suffer in silence. This issue effects so many Australian’s and is should be made more public. We want people to take charge of their happiness and to live lives free of these sorts of issues.

Martin is an education provider offering Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor courses in the areas of Business, Marketing, Events, Tourism & Design. With flexible on-campus and online study options, Martin has been helping thousands of students across Australia get the right education and career training for the past four decades. To learn more about how Martin can help you get the job and life you want, visit today.

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December 15, 2014