#YouCanTalk is a national suicide prevention campaign, led by some of Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention organisations, which aims to empower and increase confidence when it comes to talking about suicide.
#YouCanTalk exists to encourage all Australians to have a conversation with a friend, family member or work colleague they’re concerned about.
While it can be difficult to talk about suicide, research shows you can have a positive influence on someone who may be considering suicide by initiating a conversation with them and supporting them to seek help.
The main message is you don’t need to be a clinician, a GP, or a nurse to check-in with someone you are worried about.
It is OK to let someone know you have noticed they are struggling and ask them if they are experiencing thoughts of suicide.
It is normal to feel worried or nervous about having a conversation with a friend, family member or work colleague who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts, but there are resources available to help you.
Life in Mind is a national digital gateway providing organisations and communities access to suicide prevention information, programs, services, resources and research.
Tips to consider if you are talking to someone you are worried about:
- It is better to reach out than avoid the person for fear of getting the conversation wrong. Experts generally agree that asking someone whether they are thinking about suicide is unlikely to make the situation worse or ‘put ideas in their head’.
- If you feel uncertain if your friend or loved one may be at risk, ask the question directly – “Are you having thoughts about suicide?” and be prepared for the answer to be yes.
- Make the person feel comfortable by listening without judgement or criticism and don’t try to ‘fix’ the problem or talk them out of suicide. Just listen.
- Ensure they are safe for now and talk to the person about who else to involve so they can be supported. You can assist by connecting them with other supports and services.
- Connect with resources and supports that are available to you to help you navigate the conversation.
Looking for tools, resources and/or training to support the #YouCanTalk campaign?
People with lived experience can provide valuable insights into suicide prevention initiatives and Ingrid Ozols from mentalhealth@work provides an important lived experience perspective around the #YouCanTalk campaign.
Community members and groups play a huge role in understanding the behaviours of local people and how to enact support when it’s needed.
Life in Mind, through the #YouCanTalk campaign connects community members with the right resources and services to support people having difficult conversations, bereaved by suicide and providing crisis support services.
When a suicide occurs, the effects can be far-reaching. #YouCanTalk about a death however some consideration should be given to how it is talked about, with whom and in what setting.
If you work in an organisation or business, it’s important you can recognise the warning signs of your colleagues. Knowing these signs, starting a safe conversation and directing to support services or resources empowers you to act as early as possible.
As a member of the sector, it’s OK to ask, share and talk about your experiences in suicide prevention.
Suicide prevention is part of everyday life and the more organisations involved and collaborating on crisis support services, stimulating programs and developing resources, the stronger the suicide prevention network becomes.
Getting current information at your own pace is our aim. Life in Mind gives all members of the community access to suicide prevention resources, services, programs or data, giving you the freedom to choose when and where you read.