The second Thursday in September is dedicated annually as a reminder to Australians to ask family, friends and colleagues “R U OK?”. This year for the first time the Australian event coincided with World Suicide Prevention Day. People all over the country gathered in their communities to participate in walks with hopes of creating awareness for suicide prevention.
As a long time sufferer of anxiety and depression I applaud this event, but is it enough? With more than 2500 Australians ending their own lives per year, and being the leading cause of death in the 15-44 years age group, are we doing enough? Are sufferers responding to the question honestly? Like so many other people I posted on my Facebook page asking others, and they asked me back, but that was one of my good days. If they asked me again next week, or had asked me last week the answer may have been different. So is one day per year enough, do people take the time to care and ask on the other 364 days of the year?
Constantly in the media we see advertising campaigns and programs designed for educating the public in the dangers of drink driving, drug use, world hunger, domestic violence etc, but where is the same concern for the prevention of suicide?