Talking About Suicide

Statistically the highest percentage of people who suicide are men. A big contributor to that is often because men find it hard to share how they feel or ask for help when they’re struggling as that’s what they’ve been brought up to believe. male-suicideWell for the majority of us not caught up in war, we don’t need to literally soldier on or keep a stiff upper lip. Modern times bring different struggles and pressures and we have people who can offer support and help. Hopefully we can reduce the stigma and shame men feel and uncouple the links between talking about feelings and masculinity. Keeping calm and carrying on is now more amusing rather than necessary and wisdom is now in the knowing of when to seek help. Once you start the conversation, you’ll likely find that more people have been affected by suicide than you will have realised.

Having seen clients who have been feeling suicidal as well as those who have been affected by the death of family members who have ended their lives through suicide, I’ve seen both sides. Life is rarely so straight-forward and easy. As a friend or family member, it can be enough to just offer a willing ear, big hugs and a shoulder to cry on. No need to try and fix, no need to give advice, just actively being there for them can make the difference.

A few conversation starters on suicide include discussions with the Sydney Opera house: Festival of Dangerous Ideas: We Need to Talk about Suicide as well as ABC’s Man Up TV Series that starts on Tuesday October 11th at 8:30pm on ABC TV.