More reports are confirming that suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44. Suicide also impacts more than 85% of people, because 1 in 7 people will have suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. These statistics make it clear that suicide is still a very prevalent problem that needs to be dealt with properly.
Each September, the world recognizes the tragedy of suicide and we are called on to recognize suicidal behavior in friends and loved ones. The month is a time when we take special care to have the difficult conversations that could help to save a family member’s life. Social media campaigns like #itsoktotalk have resulted in a significant increase of posts about depression and suicide, which makes it easier to have the challenging discussions that come with suicidal thoughts.
However, there isn’t much of an impact on the statistics.
It seems that sharing a selfie on social media may not be a very effective way to stop someone from committing suicide. And while conversations can be helpful, they are only the first step to saving someone’s life.
Scientific literature reveals that there are ways to pinpoint which strategies can truly reduce the suicide rate. The most effective way to prevent suicide is to improve the public’s access to high-quality mental care care. Medical professionals should also be more skilled and comfortable when it comes to addressing suicidal behavior and depression. This also means that educational professionals and school counselors should be on the lookout for dangerous behaviors in order to save students.
Of course, social media campaigns work well when it comes to raising awareness about an issue. Awareness alone won’t save lives, but it can serve as a helpful tool to prevent suicide when used with other methods.
It’s important to encourage friends and family members to do more than just retweet when it comes to social media campaigns that bring attention to suicide. Social media can be used as a way to get the attention of political leaders who can implement suicide prevention programs. This combination of social media awareness and community involvement can help to save lives.