I was drawn to write this article from both a personal, as well as a professional perspective.
For those that don’t know, my only daughter was diagnosed with bipolar and schizoaffective disorder (I’m not sure disorder, sounds like a description that no one would want to have to explain!) at the age of sixteen and a half, she is now nineteen. The struggle she experiences on a daily basis is heartbreaking to say the least. She explains that fighting the voice inside her head daily is exhausting.
This lockdown, number six here in Victoria has been the catalyst to her decline becoming life threatening. She is one of many. That’s why I was drawn to talk about what is often not spoken of.
Recently on my weekly show with mental health psychologist Tony Kiss, we had this conversation with our community. There were many responses of those sharing their experience in either having taken steps towards or feeling suicidal. This chat was reported by many on the feed as liberating and insightful.
So why is the suicide conversation such a taboo topic? As Tony shared you will often hear of someone well known that has passed away and the only clue to the general public that it was suicide is the end message stating, ‘if you or someone you know experiencing mental health struggles call lifeline’! I know the thoughts behind this is that it could be a trigger for others to commit suicide themselves.
I am not a psychiatrist nor am I in anyway qualified to understand this from their perspective. So please understand this is from my observation (and I’m in no way saying I’m right here) but the current way things are done doesn’t appear to be working, suicide still is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.
Here is just some of the information I gathered from the Lifeline website:
- Nine Australians die every day by suicide. That’s more than double the road toll.
- 75% of those who take their own life are male.
- Over 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year.
- In 2019, 3,318 Australians took their own life.
- Higher in men than women.
So, is this an indicator that because we don’t talk about it, it’s not helping? I think so, there’s so many people out there who experience mental health issues. Would it help to talk in general about this to our friends and peers so it opens the door to someone needing to share, these possibly early thoughts on this very topic, so we can be supportive of them and they won’t feel so isolated?
Many of the readings I do are connecting with those that suicide (I call this ‘taking themselves home’ as that’s the message they all share when coming through during readings). The main message I get from many is that they couldn’t handle the pain of this human experience. They don’t want to hurt those left behind at all. It’s a hard journey to navigate for those left behind, so much sadness and grief that changes those forever.
So, until we change something around the suicide stigma, it will stay the same. I would love to lead the charge to change the way mental health is portrayed. So maybe it’s articles like this that I can write to help share the message.
Please reach out to those around you and get deeper with your questions to maybe help someone close to you, or if you relate to feeling this way please talk to someone.
Let’s stand united to help raise awareness!
Everyone deserves to feel supported. Along with yourself ♥️
If anything comes up for you reading this, please call Lifeline 131114 or head to their website www.lifeline.org.au/ for more information.
Australia’s Cowgirl Medium
Psychic Medium / Life Coach