Free Suicide Awareness for Older People sessions on offer

THIS year, World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK Day occur together on September 10.

The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives.

The National Coalition for Suicide Prevention is marking the day with two important campaigns:

  • The launch of a national research action plan to align research funds and priorities in suicide prevention in Australia, and
  • A national public awareness campaign inspiring hope and gratitude ( http://www.ruok.org.au).

Talking about suicide is still a taboo for many.

To encourage more conversation about this important issue and to better inform people COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland currently offer free education sessions Suicide Awareness for Older People on the Sunshine Coast Region.

Why older people? Because statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2014 show that the highest suicide rates by age group and gender were men over the age of 85 years, and women in the 80-84 year age group.

Media reports last year also noted that the highest percentage of suicides among persons aged 55 and more occurred in coastal regions, which included the Sunshine Coast.

Many groups focus on youth suicide.

These statistics, though, reflect the need to also provide suicide awareness and prevention techniques for older Australians as well.

To find out how you can reach out to raise awareness and be better informed about suicide, encourage your local social or community group to consider hosting a COTA education session between now and the September 30.

Sessions are also available for staff and volunteers of groups that provide services to seniors.

For more information, contact COTA Queensland on 3316 2999 or by email education@cotaqld.org.au.

If you or someone you know needs support, phone Lifeline on 131 114.


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