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Joint media release: Take a minute, change a life

10 Sep 2017

Joint media release between the Queensland Mental Health Commission and the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, The Honourable Cameron Dick.

The Queensland Mental Health Commission and Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick are encouraging Queenslanders not to shy away from conversations about suicide this World Suicide Prevention Day.

The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day today, “Take a minute, change a life”, is aimed at emphasising the importance of having a supportive conversation with someone if you are concerned about their wellbeing.

Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic said the primary message for everyone is that we all need to be able to have a supportive conversation with people who might be struggling.

“We need to help them access the services they need, and be able to have those conversations when we are concerned about their mental health and wellbeing, before they reach a crisis,” Mr Frkovic said.

“Community is the first line of suicide prevention — we can all be equipped to give help, to get help and prevent suicide.”

For World Suicide Prevention Day, the Commission is highlighting the advice of suicide prevention experts, including Suicide Call Back Service, Lifeline and Conversations Matter to promote community suicide prevention awareness:

What can you do to help?

  • Take any talk of suicide seriously
  • Ask the person if they are okay, and if there’s anything you can do to help
  • Show you care and listen supportively
  • Ask directly if they’re thinking of suicide
  • Be positive and help them to think about other choices
  • Encourage seeking professional help

For professional counselling call:

If you feel someone’s life is in imminent danger, keep them safe, don’t leave them on their own. Call Triple Zero.

Myths about suicide

Mr Dick said World Suicide Prevention Day was first recognised in 2003 by the World Health Organisation in collaboration with the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring that suicide is not a topic that sits in the shadows of conversation. Mental health is not something to be ashamed of and I encourage all Queenslanders to use World Suicide Prevention Day to speak up – whether they need help, or they believe someone they know does,” Mr Dick said.

“In 2015, we released the first suicide prevention strategy from a Queensland Government in many years, setting our goal to cut the rate by 50 per cent within ten years.

“The Palaszczuk Government has also committed $9.6 million over three years to improve Queensland’s Health’s response to suicide.

“The 2017-18 State Budget has also allocated $140 million in new capital infrastructure was set aside for mental health – the biggest capital investment in a decade in mental health infrastructure.

“This builds on the Palaszczuk Government’s $350 million five year plan, Connecting Care to Recovery, to guide the government’s investment in mental health and alcohol and other drug services.”

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