2866 is more than a number…
The number of Australians dying by suicide has decreased, with figures showing 2866 people took their lives in 2016, compared to 3027 people in 2015, however it’s not a time for celebration with the number of deaths by suicide simply unacceptable.
Mental health needs to be treated as a National priority. It is destroying lives and has a profound and enduring impact on families, loved ones and society.. The statistics are startling.. One in three Australians will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians and accounts for more deaths of young people than car accidents. In fact, Australians are more likely to die by suicide than skin cancer. Suicide rates are still frighteningly high, particularly among young Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The number of people with mental illness accessing treatment is half that of people with physical disorders, mainly due to stigma and lack of awareness of treatment options. We urgently need to change this so that people feel comfortable seeking help. Access to treatment and early intervention can make a huge difference and save lives.
Every life matters. This is not about statistics, it is about people. There is more work to do when it comes to mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
As a community we need to share the responsibility, talk openly and do everything we can to ensure our young people have the help they need.
This leads to the evolution of A Stitch in Time – as you can see we are in an exciting transitional phase. We have revamped our webpage, wanting to provide fresh and engaging content for our community. The aim is to encourage discussion, and to invoke meaningful conversations which will truly impact people’s lives. We want to increase transparency across our organisation – to truly see the engagement and impact our programs actually have. We have also introduced our own merchandise range. This features our original logo, but we now have a fresh range of apparel that is suitable for both males and females. We have also introduced a logo that will become more visible – and that features the alarming statistics around Mental Health…8 lives are lost to suicide each, 1 in 5 adults will suffer mental health problems this year, 1 in 4 adolescents will experience mental-ill health and 1 in 7 primary school kids experience mental-ill health. For us we wanted to create something which encourages stimulating conversations and reverts back to our values - all proceeds will fund our established and new programs.
In saying that - our programs have expanded. From the odd keynote address at a local sporting organisation or high school, we have now established programs in the Kimberley and working tirelessly to institute a similar program in the Pilbara. We feature regularly at Perth high schools providing workshops centred on resilience and mentoring and we are set to launch an exciting collaboration with a number of state sporting bodies which we believe will be instrumental in the personal development of participants. This has been an exciting space for us and we look forward to expanding our services. If you are interested in A Stitch in Time presenting to your school, working with your sporting organisation or workplace please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also right in the middle of an exciting collaboration with the NBL & WNBL and the Australian Basketballers Association. Representatives across both leagues are wearing customised basketball shoes, which spotlight the alarming statistics surrounding mental illness and having our Australian athletes advocate the importance of mental health. The feedback has been tremendous and we cannot thank the players and artists involved in this fantastic initiative.
For those that have attended the #RiseUP Gala Dinner – we can announce we are back on for 2018! The tremendous previous success of this event means this as one of the highlight the annual social calendar. We look forward to bringing more details of the #RiseUP Gala Dinner but also other future events.
Lastly, Christmas is a time many of us look forward to, but unfortunately for some it can be extremely difficult. If you have ever considered reaching out to someone you are worried about, please do this festive season. Your gift can be checking in on a mate or telling someone that you care about them. Let’s get around each other this Christmas and work together in changing the Mental Health landscape, together we can help reduce the number… 2866.
If you or someone you know needs urgent support please contact the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.