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Monday, September 10, 2012

World Suicide Awareness Day

Once upon a time there was a person. This person laughed, and smiled, and danced, and talked. This person told jokes, and told stories, and everyone liked them.
Then they waved goodbye to their friends and said goodnight to their family, and became alone in the darkness of the night.
You see, this person wasn't as happy, nor as carefree, as everyone thought. This person was dying on the inside, being eaten by depression that stole all light from the world.
This person self-harmed every night and covered the scars with sleeves and clothing, and nobody ever knew something was amiss.
Until they took their own life.
And when this person took their own life, the world began to care. 
'You were beautiful,' they said. 
'You were amazing,' they said. 
'You were perfect,' they said.
'I loved you,' they said.
And what could have been avoided, if these things were said when they still could be heard?
***
Today, the 10th of September, is World Suicide Awareness Day. People all over the world are wearing yellow, writing love on their wrists, and speaking out for those who have ever thought of, attempted or succeeded in taking their own life.

Suicide is a horrible, horrible thing, and I think sometimes it is a topic people avoid discussing. I don't think this is a good thing. The facts need to be out there, and society needs to do something about it.
Here are some shockingly real facts...

  • There were 2,133 deaths from suicide registered in Australia 2009
  • Suicide accounts for more deaths in Australia than transport accidents.
  • In 2009, suicide represented 19% of all male deaths in Australia, and 15.9% of female deaths in Australia
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for men under 44 and women under 44
  • Men in Australia are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.
  • Indigenous people are four times more likely to die by suicide than non-indigenous people.
  • More people die from suicide in Australia than from skin cancer.
  • It is estimated that 250 people in Australia make a suicide plan everyday.
  • It is also estimated that over 1000 people in Australia think of suicide every day.
  • Mental health disorders (especially depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of suicide cases.
  • In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. 
  • Suicide is among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years in some countries, and the second leading cause of death in the 10-24 years age group.
  • Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide.
  • 55% of global suicides are by people aged between 15 and 44 years
  • For every death by suicide, it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt suicide.
  • That's 180 attempts per day.
  • That's more than one attempt in Australia - every 10 minutes.
  • It is estimated that in Australia, there are six deaths by suicide a day - or one every four hours.
  • Youth suicide is increasing at the greatest rate.
  • Every year, almost one million people die from suicide.
  • Every 40 seconds there is one death due to suicide.
With these statistics, suicide seems like a killer from outer space, a villain in a story, a key character in a horror movie. But it's not.
Suicide is real. It's happening, everywhere, all the time. 
And the bright side? Surely there can't be a bright side...
There is.
The bright side is... YOU can help. Yep, little old you. You can save lives.

You can save lives by doing 
 b
i


t
h
i
n
g
s, like STARTING A CAMPAIGN or HOSTING AN EVENT.

Or, you can save lives by doing
little
things, 
like ASKING IF SOMEBODY IS OKAY or COMPLIMENTING SOMEONE.

Because, it just takes three words to convince somebody you care.
"Are 
you
 okay?"

And after all, 
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.


For suicide hotlines, information services and helpful links, click here.


~change a life today.~

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