The Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac region is one of two areas in Australia chosen to appear front and centre of a new suicide prevention campaign pilot, delivered by national mental health charity SANE Australia, in partnership with Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN). Launching today for a six-week campaign, Better Off With You features three real stories told by local people with experience of suicidal thoughts and attempts.
SANE Australia CEO Jack Heath said the new campaign takes an innovative approach to reaching local people who may be contemplating suicide. The campaign has been developed to challenge the common misconception held by people with suicidal thoughts that their friends and family would be better off without them.
“Feeling like a burden on friends and family is an aspect of suicidal thinking that is rarely discussed but arises far more often than people realise,” Mr Heath said.
“There are more than 500,000 Australians alive today who have attempted suicide at some stage in their lives. Sadly, we know that for many people who attempt or go on to take their own lives, feeling like a burden can be a major contributing factor. When you feel like a burden, it’s easy to lose perspective of the positive things you bring to the lives of those around you.” “By sharing real stories from people who considered ending their lives because they felt they were a burden, we have the opportunity to reach people feeling the same way today, to let them know that they are not alone, inspire hope and encourage them to seek support.”
The powerful video stories can be viewed on the Better Off With You campaign website, betteroffwithyou.org.au, together with support information and a listing of local services.
The prevention of suicide is an important issue in the region and the Better Off With You campaign contributes to community awareness strategies in the Whitsunday, Isaac and Mackay Suicide Prevention Community Action Plan.
NQPHN Executive Director Mackay Karin Barron said that “The social and emotional wellbeing of our communities is strongly impacted by suicide. We welcome the fresh approach of the Better Off With You campaign which compliments the work being undertaken in our region to deliver the Suicide Prevention Community Action Plan and community-based suicide
“We are proud to collaborate with SANE Australia on this campaign to provide support and improve the mental wellbeing of residents.” Bonnie Vincent, who leads the project at SANE Australia, added “It’s been a true collaborative effort, working with local groups to develop the campaign, including those with lived experience, to ensure the campaign is safe, effective and makes a real difference in the region.”
The Better Off With You pilot initiative is supported by funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Health.
For more information, visit betteroffwithyou.org.au or follow BetterOffWithYou #BOWY across social media.
If you, or someone you know, is at immediate risk call 000 or visit the emergency department of your nearest hospital. Support is also available by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. These specialised support services are readily available to listen to any concerns and to provide support and assistance to develop coping strategies.