I have just read an article on an amazing suicide prevention program in NZ for Maori that is having great results. I am passionate about preventing suicide as it has impacted on me and on my family.
I was a police officer, and proud of it. The police are resourced to, amongst other things, police our roads. they spend an enormous amount of time, energy and money to further reduce the 150 road deaths each year. And rightfully so.
I wonder how many people we have preventing the 569 suicides each year? Three times the number of deaths each year from suicide as there are killed on the roads! We know that there are many more people injured than there are killed, and that this also has an impact on the families. But so does suicide. The impact of suicide on family and friends is probably under-estimated.
Ignorance is dangerous. Ignorance on suicide and the causes even more so. Suicide can happen to anyone, trust me. If the right set of factors are at play it could well happen to you.
It's time to get real on suicide. Our loved ones, our heroes, our celebrities, our friends, and our neighbours are needlessly killing themselves. I say needlessly because there aren’t enough suicide prevention initiatives, enough discussion, or enough resources put into suicide as there is into policing our roads.
There are people are out there trying their very best to help to educate on suicide. People who have been there, people who have stood on the edge and by good grace or by good luck have survived. Yes, there are those people who have studied, researched and learned about suicide and suicide prevention who are also helping. But they have not been there.
Something has to be done, and done soon.
I am no expert on this stuff. Yet having stood on the bridge on both sides of the handrail, I can tell you that having someone come to me and tell me what is going to happen if I didn't look after myself, or if I was to face an unplanned tragedy or disappointment, or if I started having dark thoughts, that I could end up thinking about suicide then I may have listened.
Let’s get real about suicide, let’s work together and talk about prevention strategies that are making a real difference.