#YouCanTalk campaign asks Australians to start a conversation with loved ones this holiday season
Published: 4 December, 2019
Leading mental health and suicide prevention organisations across the nation collaborate to encourage, empower and equip Australians to play a more active role in suicide prevention.
Today #YouCanTalk is launching a two-week campaign calling on all Australians to play a more active role in preventing suicide in their own communities.
Suicide is currently a significant public health issue in Australia and across the world, with recent statistics showing just over 3000 Australians died by suicide in 2018.
The holiday period can be a particularly difficult time for many Australians.
Feelings of loneliness and isolation during the Christmas and New Year period can be common and the opportunity for alcohol and substance abuse is high.
While it can be difficult to talk about suicide, research shows anyone can have a positive influence on a friend, family or work colleague they are worried about by starting a conversation and supporting them to seek help.
“Talking about suicide isn’t easy and we know that many people feel scared or uncomfortable about it,” said Professor Helen Christensen AO, Director and Chief Scientist at the Black Dog Institute.
“We want to encourage all Australians to learn more about the signs of suicide risk, empower them to safely have a conversation about it and provide them with the tools to help and make a real difference to our community.”
Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP said: “The Morrison Government welcomes the #YouCanTalk campaign, which encourages Australians struggling with their mental health to reach out and find support.
“Our Government commends the collaboration of these organisations to raise awareness about the importance of starting a conversation, particularly over the Christmas-New Year period.
“Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, creating a ripple effect that flows through families, friendship groups, schools, workplaces and communities. That’s why the Morrison Government has committed to Towards Zero – working towards reducing the suicide rate to zero.
“It’s so important for Australians who are struggling to reach out and seek support.”
Michelle Bridges, Health and Fitness Expert and #YouCanTalk Ambassador said: “This is a message we want every Australian to hear – it could help save lives.
“You don’t have to be a professional to ask someone if they’re thinking of suicide or feeling suicidal. If you notice a change, the best thing you can do is start a conversation.”
#YouCanTalk campaign is endorsed and supported by leading Australian mental health and suicide prevention organisations. Learn more about how to start a conversation with a loved one and where to go for support at lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/youcantalk.
If you or someone you know is in crisis please call one of the following national helplines:
LIFELINE COUNSELLING SERVICE - 13 11 14
SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE 1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)