Those working in mental health throughout the South West have said the key to reducing stigma is through important conversations.
This week there was a renewed focus on mental health with World Suicide Prevention Day held on Monday, September 10 and R U OK? Day being held on Thursday, September 13.
South West Suicide Prevention coordinator Shelley O'Brien said in order to alleviate fear there was a need to increase peoples understanding through education and training.
“We need to be able to feel more comfortable and at ease with the subject of suicide and that’s why World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK? Day are all really important,” she said.
“The value of talking and listening is so underrated in this realm of mental health and well-being but particularly in the area of suicide because I think people have a great fear of talking about suicide because they don’t know how they’re going to be perceived by others."
Mental Health minister Roger Cook said checking in with someone includes asking R U OK? listening to them, encouraging action and following up.
“It is important we continue these important conversations about well-being and support services across Western Australia, so if you are concerned about how a friend or family member is travelling, reach out and start a conversation, ask the R U OK?” he said.
Later this month community members are invited to a meeting to discuss a proposal to form a suicide prevention network within the region.
The meeting run by Wesley LifeForce will be held at the Energy West Social Club Hall on September 20 from 5 – 7 pm.
Recently Wesley LifeForce consulted with service providers to discuss the possibility of establishing their network program for people living within the Shire of Collie.
You can RSVP to the meeting by contacting Wesley LifeForce community development coordinator Tony Wyld by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0427 440 563.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or SANE Australia Helpline on 1800 18 7263.