What is a suicide safer community?
Our model suicide safer community is one that has demonstrated a commitment to suicide prevention, promoting wellness and mental health, an ability to talk openly and freely about suicide and support to those bereaved by suicide. It is a community that knows that by saving one life at a time, it contributes to fewer suicides in the community as a whole
Why build a suicide safer community?
Suicide is a community health problem. The stigma surrounding suicide reduces the range and number of people who could help and prevent suicide. Suicide is not the domain of any one discipline or viewpoint and virtually everyone will think about suicide at some time in their life. Thoughts of suicide are dangerous and all persons with thoughts of suicide should be taken seriously. Regarding one person’s thoughts of suicide as more serious than another’s is almost as dangerous as suicide itself.
How can we achieve this?
We need to establish the Pillars for Building a Suicide Safer Community
Leadership - A leadership committee comprised of community organisations and individuals exists to assume a leadership position focused on suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.
Action Plan - An action plan based on systemic processes and evidence based methods for promoting suicide prevention and building capacity has been developed.
Access to Services - A significant improvement to access of suicide intervention services with 24 hour support
Gatekeeper training - Investments are made in training community gatekeepers – evidence that an appropriate number of suicide prevention gatekeepers have been trained in relationship to the population size or plans for gatekeeper training has been included in the community suicide prevention action plan.
Suicide Bereavement - Postvention resources and support are easily accessible to support those bereaved by a suicide death.
Commitment to Mental Health - A thoughtful and comprehensive plan is in place to inform the community about mental health and wellbeing.
Commitment to Raising Awareness - Every year the community gathers to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th to raise awareness and celebrate the community’s progress in suicide prevention.
What are we doing about it?
We are collaborating with other suicide prevention initiatives across the globe from Canada and the UK to Australia. We work together to deliver the gatekeeper training to individuals and organisations which is the essential pillar to building suicide safer communities. Through our interactions with these organisations we strengthen and build our suicide safer communities throughout the world.
Is your organisation suicide safe?
Refer to our Pillars for Building a Suicide Safer Community – do you feel these provisions are in place? A suicide safer workplace is an excellent example of a small community that is equipped to save lives through suicide prevention and intervention.
Are you suicide safe?
Suicide prevention starts with a question – are you ready to ask it? Breaking the silence and stigma around suicide can be scary, but also very powerful. Many of us feel that talking about suicide may put ‘ideas’ into the person’s head or perhaps that helping someone at risk is best left to others. Are these concerns which you share?
What can you do?
Become a gatekeeper
Whether it’s in suicide intervention skills training or suicide awareness, you can be an integral part of your community’s suicide safety plan by attending suicide intervention training
Find out which provisions your community has in place. Ask your employer how they tackle the issue of suicide. Talk about suicide – let people know that a community which talks openly about suicide is one step close to a suicide safer community.