Suicide is a topic that falls short of portraying adequately the shocking rate of death for men. The statistics are astounding and will open your eyes to just how big the problem is. There are approximately 2 500 suicides each year in Australia – 75% or which are by men! The need to focus attention on prevention is now.
Isabelle was tired from working and arrived home late one afternoon. In anticipating some good news, Isabelle had stopped off at the Bottle-O to grab a six-pack for Gary. Unlocking the front door, she wondered where her husband was. She had been hoping he would be home and cooking dinner. Gary’s interview had been that morning and seemed to be promising on all fronts.
He had lost his job 10 months ago, and since then had little prospects and fewer friends. He was going through a tough time.
Gary’s mobile was on the kitchen table, but the house was quiet. Calling his name occasionally, she wandered outside and scanned the backyard. The scene seemed surreal. The emotions that stabbed her through the heart were indescribable. Gary had hung himself from the backyard tree.
Suicide is tragic, traumatic and painful.
Close to home
Since the downturn of the mining industry over a year ago, resulting in the loss of jobs, and the real estate market crashing, Mount Isa has seen some very tough times. An increase in male suicide has traumatised the community. So many people have been touched by the death of a family member or work colleague and friend. The grief felt by the ones left behind is deep. Feelings of anger, guilt or betrayal are typical reactions and can be intense.
But it is important to remember that there is no blueprint for how we react and cope with a death. We all grieve in our own way, and we each had our own relationship with that person, so logically our grieving process is our own means of learning how to cope.
The best thing we can do as a community is come together and support one another in a way that shows love, respect and kindness. Our compassion and understanding may help relieve any other stresses those affected are dealing with. Just being there may be enough knowledge for the grieving person to feel supported. Be yourself.
You are cared about, don’t ever think you aren’t.
Agencies that can help:
Call 1300 224636
Call 13 11 14
Sometimes it can feel like it’s too hard to go on, and you’re giving up hope. Remember that suicidal thoughts are just thoughts – you don’t need to act on them. You can get control back.