How taking one minute could save a life

SUPPORT: A scene from Out of the Shadows walk in Ballarat for people to reflect on day-break about their loved ones lost to suicide and to advocate for more support. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

SUPPORT: A scene from Out of the Shadows walk in Ballarat for people to reflect on day-break about their loved ones lost to suicide and to advocate for more support. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

A NEW suicide prevention campaign aims to equip 100 community members across Ballarat in safeTALK.

Often people with thoughts of suicide don't really want to die. They want to be heard and helped. - Michelle MacGillivray, Lifeline Ballarat

Ballarat and District Suicide Prevention Network, partnering with Lifeline Ballarat, has set the target to extend help across as many demographics in the region as possible.

This city has well-documented higher rates of suicide than the national average and the network is working hard to establish a pro-active approach in awareness.

The network, with Lifeline Ballarat, is offering free workshops to help people, aged 15 years or older, in how to best approach a loved one, work colleague or neighbour, who might be suicidal or have suicidal tendencies.

Lifeline Ballarat project manager Michelle MacGillivray said the more people they could reach, the more lives they could try and save.

“People often feel like they can’t have the conversation,” Ms MacGillivray said. “Often people with thoughts of suicide don’t really want to die. They want to be heard and helped. It’s important to not be afraid to talk...to be with them.”

Lifeline Ballarat and the network are advocating for everyone to take a minute and change a life.

Ms MacGillivray said there were four ways anyone could get involved:

  • Take a minute to attend a suicide prevention or RU OK Day event this week, or simply like and share messages on social media from R U OK?, Suicide Prevention Australia, Lifeline Australia and the Ballarat and District Suicide Prevention Network.
  • Take a minute to think about how you take care of you and those around you.
  • If you are concerned about someone, take a minute to check in with them.
  • Take a minute to find out more about support services available.

This is the World Suicide Prevention Day theme.

Ms MacGillivray said it was most important that people became no longer afraid to talk about suicide and suicide prevention support.

A Lifeline Ballarat safeTALK facilitator will host the three-hour sessions. Places are available on Wednesday, September 13, and Saturday, September 23, from 9am to noon. To register: lifeline.org.au/ballarat or call Lifeline Ballarat on 5322 4996.