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Lessons to be learnt from those who have attempted suicide

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Five people have shared their incredible stories of resilience after attempting to take their own lives, in a new SANE Australia video.

Launched at the 2015 National Suicide Prevention Conference in Hobart, the Lessons for Life video features stories of recovery, with the aim of increasing empathy and understanding.

‘I’ve looked at things and thought, how can I turn this lead into gold? It’s a way of reaching out to people and saying, ‘I had this experience, but it gets better’,’ says Adam, one of those in the video.

The video breaks down commonly held assumptions about those who attempt suicide.

‘Knowing that you’re able to live what everyone else deems as a normal life, you can have a career, you can have children, you can have these negative things in your life and still be ok,’ says Sam, another of the video’s participants.

The video also provides insight into the silence that surrounds both those who have suicidal thoughts and their friends and families.

People in the video describe not being able to talk to friends or families about their thoughts and as their feelings worsened, so too did their isolation.

The video encourages people who are vulnerable to seek connections with others and give themselves more time to recover says Richard Newton, Medical Director Mental Health at Austin Health.

‘It is a very strong message of hope and a very powerful reminder for everyone who may feel suicidal that the feeling of hopelessness is a moment in time and the people who have survived and gone on to recover have gone on to live extraordinary and meaningful lives,’ he says.

Lessons for Life researcher Sarah Coker hopes the video will help to reduce the stigma associated by suicide and increase the number of those who seek help.

‘Sometimes people feel like they won't be able to be helped or don’t deserve to be helped, but this video shows how others have come through and got the help they needed,’ she says.

To watch and share the video visit SANE Australia’s YouTube channel.



Because vulnerable people can be adversely affected by stories about suicide and people are more likely to seek help when appropriate services are included, we ask you to provide the following information:

•     Lifeline 13 11 14

•     Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

•    SANE Australia Helpline 1800 18 SANE (7263) or

Last updated: 16 May 2019
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