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RUOK Day 2013 - article 4
In our recent series of RUOK Day articles,Article 1, Article 2 & Article 3 we’ve been looking at the steps of asking RUOK? The RUOK Day initiative is dedicated to encouraging conversations to prevent suicide.
So what should you do if you think a person is considering suicide? The RUOK Day website provides the following guidelines.
If you’re worried that someone you know is doing it tough or having suicidal thoughts, it’s important that you give that person an opportunity to talk about it. Find a quiet and private space to ask them how they’re feeling and whether they’ve had any thoughts about suicide. Speak in a calm, confident and non-judgmental manner to help them feel supported and reassured.
If someone says they’re thinking about suicide, it’s important you take it seriously.
Tell them that you care about them and you want to help. Don’t become agitated, angry or upset. Explain that thoughts of suicide are common and don’t have to be acted upon.
It’s also essential that you determine whether they’ve formulated a plan to take their life. Ask if they’ve decided how they’ll kill themselves or if they’ve begun to take steps to end their life. If they have, it’s critical that you do NOT leave them alone and do NOT use guilt or threats to prevent suicide. Even if someone says they haven’t made a plan for suicide, you still need to take it seriously. Lack of a plan does NOT guarantee their safety. Get immediate professional help or call emergency help lines – such as Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 – for advice and support.
People who are thinking about suicide may signal their suicidal intentions to others. In other cases, there may be no warning. It’s therefore critical that you regularly engage with family, friends and colleagues and provide them with the attention and time to ask them how they’re going.
CFA will again be participating in the ‘RUOK’ Day in 2013. This year RUOK Day falls on 12 September 2013. You don’t have to wait until September to ask somebody ‘RUOK?’. We encourage regular, meaningful conversations rather than just a once a year discussion linked to an event.
If you are struggling with life, CFA’s Welfare Services can provide confidential free support. Any member or family members can access support at any time.
Peer support can be accessed through the Rostered Duty Officer, Office in Charge, Line Manager or the Peer Coordinator Psychologists/Counsellors can be contacted directly by contacting the Member Assistance Program on 1300 795 711.
Chaplains can be contacted directly or by contacting Converge International on 1800 337 068
Welfare services are short term in nature. Members with long term clinical or complex needs will be linked to appropriate services where relevant, such internal services (WorkCover or Volunteer Compensation) and external community based agencies.